Leading the Pack: SUU Nursing Grads Shine in Licensure Exam

Published: September 01, 2011 | Read Time: 2 minutes

When the department chair of SUU Nursing received a text message from one of her students reading, “Prepare to be amazed,” Donna Lister knew it could only mean one thing: her students had done it again.

And for the second time in the past year, the entire Southern Utah University community would like to congratulate SUU Nursing for a 100-percent first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate among its most recent class of graduates.

The NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) is the required licensing test for students seeking a nursing career, and SUU’s students tout the highest pass rate for this exam in the state.

Lister is, obviously, thrilled with her students’ success and is proud of what this says for SUU’s Nursing program at large.

“It shows that our graduates are very well prepared to pass this exam,” she says, which is an important barometer of a graduate’s preparation for their chosen line of work.

A few of SUU’s recent nursing graduates, Jessica Jimerson, Katie Ward and Nicole Schmutz, all echo Lister, saying that they went into their licensure exam feeling well-prepared and confident, thanks to the instruction they had received while students at SUU.

According to Ward, the department begins preparing its students for this test from the first day they enter the program, and she appreciated the ATI practice tests — similar to NCLEX-RN — which each addressed different topics a student should have mastered in the courses of their concluding semester.

“Though nerve-wracking at the time, “ she adds “I am glad they based our progression through the nursing program on our success with the ATI tests. Nothing could have better prepared me to do well on the licensing exam.”

“I wouldn’t change one thing about my experience,” she says.

Beyond their focus on test preparation, Schmutz is most grateful for the experiences she had outside of the classroom to practice what she was learning for her future profession.

“You can study and read all you want, but until you are able to actually use the skills that you have learned, it just isn’t the same,” she says.

For Jimmerson, the overall nursing program experience stood out as uniquely valuable.

“My experience at SUU taught me that it isn’t just about what I know; what’s really important is the passion and compassion of caregiving that accompanies my knowledge and skills.” She adds, “That is what makes you a special nurse.”

From test preparation to the caregiver’s perspective, SUU Nursing is at the top of its game. Our congratulations to the latest group of SUU nursing graduates on a job well done.

Says Lister, “Proud doesn’t even begin to describe our feelings and genuine concern for our students. They have worked hard and prepared carefully and certainly deserve all the success bound to come their way.”

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