FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               7/10/2019

                                                                                                (By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College’s recent associate degree nursing graduates earned a 92.59 first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX).

Their performance on this exam surpasses both state and national pass rates. 

According to the National Council State Board of Nursing, the state pass rate is 92.42 and the national average is 89.27.

Following May graduation, 54 first-time candidates took the computerized licensure exam which tests a graduate's basic nursing knowledge and decision-making ability on commonly encountered health-care situations. Graduates of Tri-County’s RN program must pass the exam to work as registered nurses in the state.

"We are so proud of our graduates’ success on this exam," said Nursing Department Head Jackie Rutledge. “I’m also proud of our faculty and their determination to put our plan for success in action.  It really paid off.”

Rutledge said she and faculty members collaborated to identify strategies for student success which included identifying at-risk students when they enter the program and playing an active part in their learning.  These at-risk students are assigned a faculty member who works with them on test-taking strategies and time management skills on a weekly basis throughout the program.  “This one-on-one relationship is key to their success,” said Rutledge.

“Faculty help these students learn how to read and answer these NCLEX-style questions. They really learn to hone their study skills and become more motivated,” she added.

Another success strategy was to incorporate ATI assessment tools in all nursing classes to familiarize students with the NCLEX format and to enhance and fine tune their critical-thinking skills.  ATI Nursing Education is an assessment tool training program to prepare students to take the NCLEX exam.  It offers educational products that test students’ knowledge in a variety of content areas, such as nursing fundamentals, pediatrics, medical surgical, psychiatric, community health and obstetrical nursing.

Rutledge said in the final class, Nursing 221, students must take a comprehensive predictor test which encompasses material from the past two years.  “It’s our comprehensive look at how prepared they are to pass the NCLEX on their first attempt.  It also indicates areas students need to work on to be successful,” she said.  

Clinical partners also play a role in students’ success by providing a setting for students to apply this knowledge, she said.  

Tri-County's nursing department is fully accredited by the State Board of Nursing in South Carolina and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.