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Passing rate for UNCP nursing graduates is 100 percent


UNC Pembroke’s May 2011 nursing graduates had a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the national nursing license exam (NCLEX-RN). By passing the exam, the 19 graduates of the four-year prelicensure BSN program will receive their license and be able to practice as registered nurses.

UNCP’s first-time pass rates have increased every year since its first graduating class in 2007. Last year, 95 percent of UNCP’s nursing graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which is supervised by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Dr. Barbara Synowiez, who has chaired the four-year prelicensure Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program since it was founded, was especially pleased.

“This achievement speaks volumes for the quality of the UNCP nursing program. I think we have done a number of things right over the years,” Dr. Synowiez said. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to quality instruction with a close focus on learning outcomes.  The nursing faculty is committed to providing avenues for student success in the program. We are very proud of our graduates and the hard work they demonstrated throughout the program.

“Our results not only show the rigor of our program in preparing our graduates to take the NCLEX-RN, but it also shows that our program provides a strong foundation for clinical nursing practice of our graduates,” she said.

UNCP’s scores were the highest among UNC-system universities during the second quarter report period. The North Carolina Board of Nursing’s current first-time pass rate standard is 83 percent, and UNC system bar is a little higher at 85 percent.

Dr. Kenneth Kitts, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs was also pleased with the results.  “These scores reflect the quality of our nursing program,” he said.  “I am very proud of the faculty, staff and students for the hard work and dedication that made this happen.”

UNCP has two nursing programs, one for registered nurses to earn a BSN degree (RN-BSN) and the four-year prelicensure BSN program.

“The demand is strong for graduates of four-year baccalaureate nursing programs in the healthcare job market,” Dr. Synowiez said. “The baccalaureate degree is the beginning of a rewarding career in professional nursing.  Our graduates are prepared to go much further because of the well-rounded liberal arts and professional nursing education they received at UNCP. Many of our graduates are already actively enrolled in master’s degree programs.”

UNCP graduates are not the only group in the Department of Nursing continuing their education. Five faculty members earned doctorates in the last two years, and six more are enrolled in doctoral programs.

“The growing experience and credentials of our faculty are factors in the increasing success of our students,” Dr. Synowiez said. “When we started the program, I was the only faculty member with a doctorate.”

Nationally, there are few nurses with doctorates, so UNCP’s approach is to grow faculty from within.

“We want to be a model nursing program,” Dr. Synowiez said. “One outstanding feature of our program is the diversity of our students and faculty.

“Building a diverse nursing profession is important, especially in a region that is diverse and a nation that is increasingly diverse.”

The future looks bright for UNCP nursing. A new Nursing and Health Professions building will be completed in early 2012. The new home of nursing will have more clinical learning space, and it will consolidate the program under one roof on campus for the first time.

“We will slowly begin to grow our enrollment, which is very exciting when our performance is so high,” Dr. Synowiez said. “Our applicants are also more outstanding then ever.”

For more information about nursing at UNCP, please contact the department at 910.521.6522 or email