Wright State University’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program has attained a milestone unmatched by most universities: a first-time pass rate of 100% on the national certification examination — for 20 straight years.
“Achieving a passing score on the national examination speaks to the intense studies students endured throughout their graduate studies,” said Kristine Scordo, professor of nursing and director of the program. “These students are well prepared to care for patients who require complex health care.”
Wright State’s 100% pass rate on the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s national Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) exam is well above the national average of 84–85%. Every student in Wright State’s program passed the exam the first time she or he took the test.
Scordo sets high standards for her students, yet forms close bonds with them. Many of her students call her “Mother Scordo.” There are currently 65 to 70 students in the program.
“Students enter our program with years of critical care experience and gain an in-depth education as they proceed through their clinical and didactic courses,” explained Scordo. “Physician and nurse practitioner preceptors often comment that you can tell a Wright State graduate — they are strong clinically and very professional.”
The master’s degree program at the Wright State University–Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health enables graduates to assume primary responsibility for the direct care of patients with acute and chronic conditions in a variety of settings. These may include emergency departments, intensive care units, acute care units, specialty labs, clinics or physician practices. They diagnose health problems and may prescribe drugs and treatments.
Students can select an area of emphasis, such as critical care, cardiology, pulmonary, neurology, oncology, trauma, as well as additional specialty areas. Clinical preceptors in various clinical settings serve a vital role.
“In addition to the Wright State faculty, we are grateful to our community physicians and nurse practitioners who serve as exceptional preceptors for our students,” Scordo said. “During their clinical rotations, they receive excellent experiences.”
The curriculum is very extensive. Students also benefit from highly regarded physicians and specialists, who lecture to the Wright State classes.
“We also are so fortunate to have expert lecturers, such as Drs. Jim Brown, Jeff Kaufold, Miguel Parilo, Silvania Ng, and ACNPs such as Susan Yeager, Michele Lozono and Beth Croucher, who also serves as a clinical adjunct instructor along with Angie Dugan,” Scordo said. “There are many more that we are eternally grateful for — it does take a village.”
When students pass the written, proctored, four-hour credentialing test, they can become licensed to practice as an acute nurse practitioner.
Graduates of the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program are working in hospitals, cardiology and other specialized practices in Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Texas and other states.
Wright State’s program is so successful that Scordo has been approached by other universities seeking her help in raising their pass rates.
Scordo has more than 35 years of experience in adult cardiology. Her published work on cardiovascular medicine has gained national and international attention.
She also is helping advance the nursing profession, having been appointed by the Ohio Board of Nursing to the Committee of Prescriptive Governance and the Advisory Committee on Advanced Practice Registered Nursing.
The Committee on Prescriptive Governance develops recommendations on the authority of advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe medicine or therapy to a patient. The Advisory Committee on Advanced Practice Registered Nursing advises the Ohio Board of Nursing on issues regarding the practice and regulation of advanced practice registered nurses.