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Graduate Pass Rate for NCLEX Exam Exceeds National Average


(Huntsville, Alabama) – It’s one of the fields in high demand in the Tennessee Valley and those who graduate from the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Drake State exceed the national pass rate.

The testing for nursing students does not end with their last final of the last semester. In fact, the hardest test has yet to come. In order for nurses to practice in their field of study in Alabama, they must first successfully pass the NCLEX Exam to become licensed by The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN). According to ABN’s website, the national average which passes the NCLEX exam is 86%. However, 97.8% of the students from Drake State passed the certification exam. The latest results were not a fluke with an average of 97.25% for the last two reporting periods.

“We believe the success of our students is due in part to their desire to succeed and to the exceptional staff in the nursing department here at Drake State,” comments Helen McAlpine, President of Drake State. “It is highly unusual for a college to have an instructor who is selected to assist in writing questions for the NCLEX Exam, but we are privileged to have Thuy Lam and Alice Raymond who have participated in this process. We are also pleased that Alice Raymond has received national recognition for her doctoral dissertation.”

According to the 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Licensed practical nurses held about 749,000 jobs in 2006. Employment of LPNs is expected to grow 14 percent between 2006 and 2016, faster than the average for all occupations, in response to the long-term care needs of an increasing elderly population and the general increase in demand for health care services.

Drake State has also seen an increase in the demand for this program. While the Licensed Practical Nursing program is currently near capacity, the student enrollment, for Pre-Nursing increased by 75% this summer semester-indicating there will be a pipeline of students entering the program for an extended period of time.

“We are doing everything within our means to accommodate those qualified students who desire to enter the field of nursing,” states McAlpine. “Our biggest issue today is the lack of classroom space. Our students are demonstrating a need for additional facilities and our industry partners have requested we add to our Health Science offering of courses. Drake State is prepared to accommodate that request as we are able to move forward with securing additional resources.”

Drake State currently offers certificates in License Practical Nursing and Certified Nursing Assistant. Drake State’s future goals include expanding the Health Science Program to include an RN degree as well as other medical certificate courses such as Radiological Technician, Phlebotomist, Medical Assisting, Home Health Aide and Massage Therapy programs.

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