Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date February 28, 2008

For More Information, Contact: Brenda Rayner 901-333-4247

Southwest Nursing Graduates Score Top Ranking on NCLEX

The 2007 Southwest Nursing Graduates achieved a 97.4 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), the highest rate for all the associate degree nursing programs in the state of Tennessee. Additionally, Southwest ranked fifth overall in the state among all degree programs; Associate Degree of nursing, Bachelors Degree of nursing, and Master of Science Degree of nursing, both public and private. The NCLEX-RN is designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry-level. Passing the exam is required of candidates for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) by all U.S. state and territorial Boards of Nursing.

Additionally, the Tennessee Board of Regents Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Paula Myrick Short, reported that the State of Tennessee is now ranked number one nationally in passing rates for first-time candidates sitting for the NCLEX.

The NCLEX scores for Southwest have increasingly climbed for the past three years from a score of 92.12 percent in 2005, 96.32 percent in 2006, to 97.4 percent for 2007. According to Southwest Department Chair of Nursing Mary Vines, the state of Tennessee requires 85 percent of a school’s graduates to pass the licensing exam on the first attempt in order to be approved to operate. “Our students write the same licensing exam as the baccalaureate students do. So, they have to get all the same content in a shorter period of time,” explained Vines. She attributes the success of Southwest’s program to the hard work of the faculty, the individualized attention given to the students, and the support from Southwest’s clinical partners in the health care community.

Southwest President Nathan Essex takes enormous pride with the performance of both nursing faculty and students at the college. “We are obviously very pleased with the performance of our nursing students on the NCLEX certification exam. Their performance certainly reflects the overall quality of our nursing program. We commend Mrs. Vines and the nursing faculty for consistently being among the highest achieving nursing programs in the region, state and nation,” said Dr. Essex. He added, “We also commend our fine students for their stellar accomplishments, which are even more remarkable given the space limitations that we are currently experiencing with an inadequate facility.”


Cutline for Mary Vines photo: Cutline for Mary Vines photo: Mary Vines, Department Chair for Nursing at Southwest uses, 21st century classroom technology in an auditory function demonstration.