Press Release                                                                                                                                                   
May 26, 2024

(By Lisa Garrett)

RN and LPN Graduates Report Perfect Pass Rate on NCLEX

PENDLETON --- The latest graduates from TCTC’s associate degree nursing and practical nursing programs report a perfect first-time pass rate on the new NGN (Next Generation) National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX) for the first quarter of 2024. 

The NCLEX is a nationally recognized licensure examination required to become either a registered nurse (NCLEX-RN) or a licensed practical nurse (NCLEX-PN). Graduates of both programs must pass the exam to work as RNs and/or LPNs in the state. 

The NGN NCLEX for both programs are computerized exams that test a graduate’s basic nursing knowledge and decision-making ability on commonly encountered health-care situations. The new NGN NCLEX includes next generation features, such as real-world case studies to measure a nurse's ability to think more critically and make the right decisions.

“I am so proud of our students and faculty for their dedication to academic excellence,” said Jackie Rutledge, nursing department head. “We know our students are capable and prepared, but we also know this exam is difficult. The test is comprehensive and consists of questions which are challenging and require critical thinking. We are celebrating our graduates’ success as well as our dedicated faculty and our local clinical partners who collaborate with us to provide our students with meaningful experiences.”

Students in both nursing programs continue their status of surpassing state and national pass rates on the exams.

According to the National Council State Board of Nursing, the state pass rate for associate degree nursing graduates is 97.99% and the national average is 94.15%.

The state average for practical nursing graduates is 98.01% and the national average is 91.10%.

Several years ago, TCTC’s nursing faculty incorporated success strategies into the curriculum to identify students who are at risk. They changed teaching strategies and focused more on critical thinking through learning activities, such as unfolding case studies flip the classroom lectures, and simulation labs, said Rutledge.

They began using Assessment Technology Institute (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.

Practical nursing graduates are employed at nursing homes, doctor’s offices and acute care facilities. 

Associate degree nursing graduates are predominantly employed at Prisma Health and AnMed, she said.

TCTC’s nursing departments are fully accredited by the State Board of Nursing in South Carolina and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, industrial electronics, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit