Southern Arkansas University has announced that graduates of its bachelor of science in nursing program (pre-licensure track) finished the 2018-2019 academic year ranked third in the state of Arkansas for its first-time NCLEX pass rate.

The State Board of Nursing released the rankings.

To obtain licensure in Arkansas, graduates of the program are required to take the National Council for Licensure Exam-RN (NCLEX-RN) which ensures candidates are well prepared for entry-level practice. For the 2019 year, which runs from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, SAU nursing graduates achieved a 96.9 percent pass rate on their first attempt, the highest percentage in the history of the BSN program, according to Dr. Karen Landry, department chair.

In addition, the spring 2019 class has thus far recorded a 100-percent pass rate.

“We are elated about the ranking,” Landry said. “It reflects the hard work of students, faculty and administration and their commitment to our BSN program.”

Landry said the program is one of the most affordable in the state, with students saving an average of almost $1,300 per semester compared with tuition at other universities.

More than 280 students are enrolled in SAU’s nursing program this year, and job placement opportunities in the Ark-La-Tex will be abundant for graduates. “There is a huge demand for nurses. We are producing quality graduates to meet that demand,” Landry said.

Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, congratulated the program on its success. “This ranking demonstrates that we have a great program. It truly validates the excellence of our faculty. We look forward to helping our students become successful – throughout the nation and globally.”

SAU’s pursuit of excellence continues as the NCLEX cycle for 2020 began on July 1.

“We will continue to move forward, building an evidence-based curriculum, growing our program, and ensuring that our students have an excellent foundation to begin their nursing careers,” Landry said. “We are not able to have this success without the wonderful support of this community.”

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Dr. Alice Fanning, assistant professor of nursing at Southern Arkansas University, guides her students through procedures in the Wharton Nursing Building.

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