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Excellence! Nursing scores remain perfect at UNCP


UNC Pembroke’s 2012 nursing graduates recorded a 100 percent passing rate on the national nursing licensure examination (NCLEX-RN).

For the university’s growing, four-year, pre-licensure BSN program, it is the second consecutive year that all graduates who took the exam passed on their first attempt.

Scores have risen every year from 2007, when the first class of BSNs (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) took the exam, to 2011, when UNCP’s program was the only public university in North Carolina with a 100 percent passing rate.

“We are really proud of this achievement because it speaks to the high quality of instruction and the high quality of our graduates,” said Dr. Barbara Synowiez, chair of the Department of Nursing. “The success of our students is making us one of the premier nursing programs in North Carolina.”

Dr. Mark Canada, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences praised the results.  “If education is working, students should come away from their coursework much more knowledgeable than they were whenthey began,” he said.  “Clearly, our nursing graduates are leaving UNCP with an outstanding education.”

The nursing program moved on campus into the new and more spacious Health Science Building this summer, and they expect to increase the pre-licensure BSN enrollment within three years to 200 students from approximately 100. In another development, the Department of Nursing has also submitted the documents for a masters’ degree in nursing program. The first graduate nursing students may be able to enroll as early as fall 2013.

The first nursing classes in the $29 million Health Sciences Building began this summer with 72 new, third-year students. It is a spacious and state-of-the-art facility, Dr. Synowiez said.  “In a much larger facility, there is room to grow our enrollment and programs,” she said. “The advantages of being located at the center of UNCP’s academic community are great for students and faculty.”

“With the move to the UNCP main campus, our students will benefit from the opportunity to engage in all aspects of a traditional university atmosphere,” she said. “The campus will also benefit from the presence of our ‘white coats’ and professional nursing atmosphere.”

Dr. Ken Kitts, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, invited the public to see the new Health Sciences Building following ground breaking ceremonies at 3 p.m. on August 14.  

“We are very proud of this facility and want area citizens to share in that pride,” Dr. Kitts said. “UNCP takes seriously its role as a regional leader, and it is important that the community knows we are putting resources into programs that are performing at the highest level and that will have an immediate impact on the quality of life in Southeastern North Carolina.”

Additionally, UNCP’s Housing and Residence Life in collaboration with the Department of Nursing will launch a “Living Learning Leading Community” in fall 2013 for freshmen pre-nursing majors to live and take classes together.

“The community has been extremely popular with more than 100 students currently enrolled,” Dr. Synowiez said. “We’ve receive lots of positive feedback and great support from multiple university departments and administration.”

With a program that is growing in size and reputation, Dr. Synowiez said nursing at UNCP is filling demand for nurses in the region, and it is fulfilling a national initiative for a moreeducated nursing workforce.

“The national goal is for 80 percent of nurses to have BSN degrees,” she said. “Having a program at UNCP has moved nursing in the region to a different level. The future for the nursing profession is bright nationally and here at UNCP.”

UNCP started a RN to BSN program in the mid-1990s and that program continues. The four-year BSN program began in 2005 at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton.

For more information on nursing at UNCP, please contact them at 910.521.6522 or email