April 2, 2013
PRESTONSBURG — The nursing program at Big Sandy Community and Technical college is on the mend following two years of subpar licensure scores.
BSCTC’s nursing program was moved to “conditional” status in 2012, following two consecutive years of poor pass results on the National Council Licensure Exam, which is given to nurses following graduation and is a significant measure of a school’s educational standards.
According to Charlene Carrol, program coordinator at BSCTC, the program will be reinstated to approved status soon.
“In March, I went to the education committee with the Kentucky Board of Nursing, and that committee will recommend that we be put back on full approval,” Carroll said.
According to Carroll, the school was advised to make certain changes to its program following the move to conditional status, and in response the school has made changes to curriculum, added program reviews and changed admissions policies, including adding a pre-admission exam.
Carroll says the school’s fall into conditional status does not affect current or future students. “They still complete with the same degree, and test for the same license.”
BSCTC’s nursing program posted a 72 percent pass rate on the NCLEX in both 2010 and 2011. Carroll says that if a school falls below 85 percent two years in a row, conditional status is put in place automatically by the Kentucky State Board of Nursing, which then makes recommendations for improvements.
In 2012, the school’s passing percentage on the NCLEX was 92 percent.
BSCTC offers a two-year program leading to the associate in applied science degree. This nursing degree curriculum prepares graduates to provide and manage client care and to become members within the discipline of nursing.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, which developed and administers NCLEX, states the test is designed to ensure public protection, requiring nursing candidates to pass an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed entry-level nurses.