Southeastern Community College’s nursing program recently celebrated the 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination of its ADN and LPN students. The NCLEX is a nationwide exam required for the practice of nursing.  

Nursing Director Jessica Hill explained that once a student graduates from the nursing program, their name is submitted to the Board of Nursing for selection to take the NCLEX. She said the LPN students who graduated in December 2022 and the ADN students who graduated in May 2023 all passed the NCLEX. 

“Anybody anywhere who has gone through a nursing program whether it’s at a bachelor’s level, an associate degree level or a diploma level, they all take the same national licensure exam,” Hill said. “One thing we found significant about those pass rates is the NCLEX was updated and changed in April, so they released a brand-new version of the NCLEX on April 1. We were so pleased they passed that with 100%.” 

Hill said the goal of the NCLEX is to ensure that anyone leaving a nursing program and going into the workforce to take care of people are doing so with minimum competency in safety. The exam tests a nurses’ safety knowledge at the bedside.  

“NCLEX finally updated and found a way to really test clinical judgement,” Hill said. “So, instead of just a multiple-choice question with a correct answer, they’re actually looking at case studies on their exam, looking at a patient’s chart, reading doctor’s orders, reading nurses’ notes and making clinical decisions based on what they see on a patient’s chart.” 

Hill felt confident in the ADN students taking the updated exam because of the changes and updates to the way classes were taught at SCC. The updated curriculum allowed students to work together where they were “constantly thinking” about ways to safely take care of a patient from the bedside. Exam questions similar to those on the NCLEX were implemented into classroom exams within the program. Hill wanted to embed these questions into the nursing program so that students are familiar with what they will find on the NCLEX. 

“If you sit in a nursing classroom now compared to two or three years ago, your nursing instructor does not just stand at the front of classroom and lecture from a PowerPoint,” Hill said. “We have a patient bed sitting at the front of our main nursing classroom with a mannequin patient in it. Our students get to name that patient, and they take care of that patient through every lecture class period.” 

Hill complimented the nursing faculty for their hard work on preparing students for the NCLEX, and she said every student received jobs upon graduation. With a dip in scores during the pandemic, Hill saw the 100% pass rate as a “bounce back” to the long-standing reputation of the nursing program. Hill explained that the combined length of nursing experience from the faculty is more than 300 years.  

“If you come here, you have all of these people with all of these years of experience to just pour out into you,” Hill said. “I believe our students feel that when they get through the program.”  

“The most important thing is that we want students to know that when they come here, do the work, prepare and progress through the program, that they are going to be prepared when they get to the bedside,” Hill said. “They are going to be able to take care of people in this community safely. Our ultimate goal is that they are able to improve their lives, the lives of their families and the lives of the people in our community.” 

There is still time to apply for the LPN program of the spring 2024 semester. The deadline is Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. Click here to learn about the admissions process.