Barton nursing program accomplishes resurgence in national board test scores | Barton Community College

Barton nursing program accomplishes resurgence in national board test scores

December 1, 2017
Story by Micah Oelze

Barton Community College Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) graduates had a 100 percent pass rate in 2017 on their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and the Registered Nurse (RN) graduates had an 88.89 percent pass rate on their licensure exams, a 44 percent increase from last year.

“My hat goes off to both the faculty and students for working hard to accomplish this,” Executive Director of Nursing and Healthcare Education Dr. Kathleen Kottas said.

In 2016, the percentage of RN students who successfully completed the NCLEX-RN exam at Barton was much lower than expected. Barton’s nursing program is fully accredited by the National accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) which requires a minimum pass rate of 80 percent at the RN level. Upon receiving the results in 2016, Kottas and her faculty acted.

“We evaluated just about everything we could and found both internal and external factors we believed played a role in the low pass rates,” Kottas said. “My faculty has worked really hard to implement changes, promote and reinforce student learning and working to make sure if a student did not understand the content before a unit exam that they comprehended it before they left the program.”

The nursing program has done a lot with remediation. They have created new opportunities for study sessions, classroom activities and clinical experiences all trying to strengthen the students’ knowledge so they can get to the end of the program as a stronger graduate and be successful on the NCLEX.

“We have kept a lot of the changes in place and hope to continue this upward trend,” Kottas said.

Kottas knows this victory does not mean everything is perfect and plans to continue to make changes when and where they are needed as a part of her and her faculty’s commitment to the success of their students.

“We are continually evaluating and looking at factors to influence students and graduates in a positive way everywhere from admission to graduation,” she said.

Bart posing in scrubs.
Bart posing in scrubs.