Fayetteville State nursing program returning to health

Posted February 27, 2015

— Graduates of the revived nursing program at Fayetteville State University have aced the state licensing exam.

Fayetteville State suspended its bachelor degree nursing program in 2009 because of consistently poor performance by students on state exams. Chancellor James Anderson then set out to revamp the program, bringing in new leadership, state-of-the-art equipment such as patient mannequins and an emphasis on skills development and academic needs of students.

The nursing program was restarted in fall 2011, and its first 15 graduates all passed the licensing exam on their first try.

Afua Arhin, chairwoman of Fayetteville State's Department of Nursing, said she's not surprised by the results after she beefed up the curriculum and demanded more from her students.

"I know it's a lot of expectation and pressure on them, but I really do believe that, if they spend the money and we've given them what it is they need, the expectation is that they have to pass," Arhin said Friday.

Hiring faculty who care about student success also was key to the turnaround, she said.

"When you have the faculty, that's half the battle," she said. "We have great faculty, we have great staff and we expect the students to do well because everybody's giving 150 percent."

Nursing instructor Julia Kane said student success is part of the mindset of everyone associated with the program.

"Every student has the possibility to succeed, and every faculty believes that, and we're going to work very hard to make sure that they do," Kane said.

Jessica Cosey, a retired soldier who has her sights set on becoming a nurse, watched the death and rebirth of the Fayetteville State nursing program while stationed at Fort Bragg.

"I watched the process and saw all the communications and all the things they were doing to change it, to bring it up, and when I came, it seemed like they were ready to go, and I'm ready to be a nurse," Cosey said.

A first-year student in the nursing program, she is confident she and her fellow students will continue the path of success charted by the initial graduating class.

"We will be prepared from Fayetteville State," she said. "It's not an easy task to pass the basic classes, so once you get into the nursing program, I'm sure you'll have the study habits and skills to be successful if you want to be."


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