The 2023 nursing cohort at Wright State University’s Lake Campus made history recently. Each of the 22 graduates passed the licensing exam on the first try — an unheard-of accomplishment based on state and national figures.
The cohort passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam, which nursing graduates are required to pass to be licensed as registered nurses in the United States and Canada.
“I have been an educator for almost 20 years and this is the first time I’ve experienced this,” said Lynn Franck, clinical instructor and nursing educator at the Lake Campus.
This is the fifth graduating class from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Lake Campus. Each class is about 20 to 25 students, mostly commuters.
“I know my students, and they know me. There was a great ability for us to interact and meet this milestone,” said Franck, who joined Lake Campus in 2015 to establish a nursing program, which follows the same guidelines and course study as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Wright State’s Dayton Campus.
Franck said this nursing cohort of 20 women and two men was particularly eager, engaging and questioning.
“When you have a small group size, they tend to help each other,” she said. “I felt this group meshed well together.”
The students graduated at the end of April, then prepared for the NCLEX-RN exam individually. Yet the team concept remained.
“They had study sessions, and they kept in contact with each other,” Franck said. “They were welcome to come in to my office and prep together. Others did so on their own.”
The exam is administered at various sites and times throughout the state and taken through individual appointments. The first cohort graduate took the test in mid-May, the last was in late July.
The national average over the past few years of those who passed on the first try is from 79% to 87 % and the Ohio average is from 75% to 85%.
“It is extremely hard and rare for an entire cohort of nursing graduates to pass the NCLEX on their first attempt,” said Andrea Faber, Ph.D., vice provost and chief administrative officer of Lake Campus. “This achievement speaks volumes for our nursing faculty here at the Lake Campus.
“We are extremely proud to serve the communities in western Ohio by providing high-quality nurses,” Faber said. “I am incredibly proud of the students this year for such a remarkable accomplishment.”
There is another accomplishment the students achieved: most had jobs waiting for them by March.
Their success has a positive effect on Franck.
“It makes you feel so good that all the work and energy — not just from me but from the staff and instructors — that we pour into these students and to have them do their side of the work to get themselves ready to pass on the first attempt is pretty awesome,” she said.
“It’s a big deal from a faculty and program perspective for them to pass the first time,” she said, referring to having the university maintain its accreditation.
In addition, Franck said, “This lends credibility to the community we’re serving and to the wider region. To say we’re not just meeting but exceeding the standards is pretty awesome. I want to generate nurses who are ready to practice and be a good reflection of our program.”