LEE SCHOOL OF NURSING RANKED BEST IN STATE

'They want our students, and that means a lot to us'

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
Posted 4/3/19

Lee University’s School of Nursing has been ranked No. 1 on the 2019 Best RN Programs in Tennessee list which is compiled each year by career education website RegisteredNursing.org. The …

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LEE SCHOOL OF NURSING RANKED BEST IN STATE

'They want our students, and that means a lot to us'

Posted
Lee University’s School of Nursing has been ranked No. 1 on the 2019 Best RN Programs in Tennessee list which is compiled each year by career education website RegisteredNursing.org

The ranking is based on the percentage of graduates who have been able to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN. Lee’s nursing program, which started in 2014, currently boasts a 100 percent NCLEX-RN pass rate. 

“It is an honor to achieve this ranking, especially with us being such a new program,” said Dr. Sara Campbell, dean of the School of Nursing at Lee. “It’s exciting and a big indication of how hard our faculty work to align our curriculum with the NCLEX.” 

RegisteredNursing.org ranked Lee’s nursing program above 44 other programs statewide, including the University of Tennessee at Martin, which came in second with a 99.64 percent pass rate. Lee’s was the only program in Tennessee — and the Southeast region as a whole — with a 100 percent pass rate. 

Of the 639 programs ranked nationwide, only six others boasted 100 percent pass rates. Those were Stanbridge University in California, Baton Rouge General Medical Center in Louisiana, Pace University in New York, University of Mount Union in Ohio, Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania and LeTourneau University in Texas.  

“I’m thankful to the Lee campus community, School of Nursing faculty, staff and students, and the multiple health care personnel and facilities that contribute so greatly to the success of the nursing program,” said Campbell. 

The NCLEX-RN exam is used by all state boards of nursing across the United States to help assess a student's competency and is required for licensure. Many state boards of nursing, including Tennessee’s, look at colleges’ overall NCLEX-RN pass rates as they evaluate the colleges’ ability to provide a nursing education in the state.

RegisteredNursing.org says it bases its rankings on NCLEX-RN pass rates from the past five years. Program pass rates from past years are averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam. For example, pass rates in 2018 counted more toward overall rankings than scores from 2014.

To be eligible for the ranking, a college or university had to offer an Associate in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Direct-Entry Master of Science in Nursing degree and have more than a year’s worth of exam scores. 

Campbell said faculty at Lee, which offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees, actively work to ensure students are able to perform well on their licensure exams after graduation. She added the pass rates show their work is paying off. 

She explained faculty meet “quite extensively” to discuss which standards are being covered in classes, and the tests faculty create contain questions which are “structured like” those on the NCLEX-RN exam. Students at Lee also take standardized exams designed to prepare them for their licensure exams. 

While she is happy to see students continuing to achieve on their exams, Campbell said she is perhaps even more proud of the positive conversations she has been able to have with leaders of the hospitals, doctor’s offices and other places now employing Lee nursing alumni. 

“What I really enjoy hearing is our employers talking about how prepared students are for their jobs,” Campbell said. “They want our students, and that means a lot to us.” 

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