Pellissippi State nursing grads in top five on exam

Lesli Bales-SherrodOur Town Health

Pellissippi State Community College earned a 98.13% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam in 2023, finishing in the top five of 20 Tennessee colleges that confer associate degrees in nursing.

One hundred five of the 107 Pellissippi State nursing graduates who took the national licensing exam in 2023 passed on their first attempt. That includes 100% of the college’s spring 2023 nursing graduates, according to statistics released from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nursing faculty work diligently to ensure students are meeting expectations throughout their studies, Pellissippi State Nursing Dean Jessie Belnap said, and that’s key to the program’s success.

“These nursing students are part of one of the most rigorous programs in the state, and community members have repeatedly stated that our nursing students are at the top when providing bedside care,” she said. Program info here.

The NCLEX-RN is the final step before nursing students become registered nurses. The exam tests the graduates’ ability to think critically, use clinical judgement and perform in a safe and ethical manner when caring for patients. Computer Adaptive Technology enables the NCLEX-RN to give candidates questions based on all their previous answers and the difficulty of those questions.

In April 2023, the NCLEX-RN changed to incorporate real-world case studies to measure a nurse’s ability to think more critically and make the right decisions. The NCLEX-RN had a 69.66% pass rate nationwide for 2023.

Belnap noted that faculty incorporate these “Next Generation style” questions into their students’ college exams.

“While nursing can be a stressful program and has several requirements each semester, as well as a very strict handbook, we know that we are preparing these students to do one of the most wonderful jobs in the world – caring for other individuals,” Belnap said. “We don’t take that responsibility lightly, and our pass rates continue to show this.”

Lesli Bales-Sherrod, public relations specialist, Pellissippi State Community College


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