Not long ago, Nevada ranked near the bottom of the pecking order when it came to students' first-time pass rates for the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses.
But a perfect pass rate by Western Nevada College, along with results from other nursing programs in the state have helped elevate Nevada into one of the top test pass-rate success stories.
The Nevada State Board of Nursing has learned that Nevada ranked second nationally in 2012, behind only Oregon, in its first-time student pass rates on the NCLEX-RN test. Oregon edged out Nevada, 94.40 percent to 94.37 percent, for the year.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of how hard so many nurses in Nevada have worked to improve this performance," said Roseann Colosimo of the Nevada State Board of Nursing. "For those who are not aware, five-to-six years ago, we were 46th."
WNC nursing students scored achieved a 100 percent pass rate after completing their two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing last spring. The NCLEX-RN test validates a nursing graduate's competencies as a nurse and helps nursing boards make licensing decisions.
"Receiving a perfect pass rate on the NCLEX-RN confirms that the WNC nursing program is successfully preparing employable graduates for a career that sustains families, and offers immense benefit to our community and our local economy," said Dr. Judith Cordia, director of Nursing and Allied Health at WNC.
For 2012 statewide, 871 of the 923 students who sat for the NCLEX test in Nevada were successful. In Oregon, 1,197 of 1,268 students passed the exam.
Colosimo's reaction was proud. "Congratulations to the board members who held the line. Congratulations to the nursing education leadership who set high standards and brought the performance to such an improved level. Congratulations to faculty who made it happen."
Other states near the top of the pass-rate rankings were North Carolina 94.06 percent, New Hampshire 93.85, Tennessee 93.54, Missouri 93.43 and South Carolina 93.37.