Local News

State puts FSU nursing program on probation

Posted August 30, 2007 5:59 p.m. EDT
Updated January 28, 2009 12:38 p.m. EST

— The state Board of Nursing on Thursday placed the nursing program at Fayetteville State University on probation, giving the school one year to bring the program into compliance with state standards.

"Their choices were not just to give us a warning. Their choices were to close the program down right away, and they did not," FSU Interim Chancellor Vic Hackley said.

The move comes three months after 24 of 31 FSU senior nursing students failed to graduate because they failed an exam from Health Education Systems Inc. The students threatened to sue, saying the test wasn't part of their graduation requirements, and 13 passed when they were given a chance to retake the exam.

Hackley, who took over after Chancellor T.J. Bryan resigned under pressure last month amid questions about the nursing program and FSU's finances, said the school hadn't been using the exam correctly. It should have been given earlier as an assessment tool, he said.

"(We need to) find out what they need early on, start giving them the content, the lecture support, the tutoring (and) the mentoring program they need to keep them on track," Hackley said.

The nursing board already has ordered FSU to communicate graduation requirements more clearly to students.

Hackley said the nursing program's admission standards were weren't tough enough and said administrators had been in too much of a rush to get the program going. The school has improvement plans in place, he said, adding that the probationary status wouldn't affect students already in the program.

"These recommendations look good on paper, but we want to make sure they come to fruition," he said.