Local News

FSU adopts 'aggressive' changes to improve nursing program

Posted January 28, 2009 12:38 p.m. EST
Updated January 28, 2009 4:31 p.m. EST

— Fayetteville State University’s nursing graduates had the worst pass rates in the state’s licensing exam last year, according to the state Board of Nursing.

Twenty-four of 61 FSU students last year passed the exam on the first attempt. The result gives the university a 39 percent pass rate – making it last among the state’s 60 nursing programs.

The state average pass rate is 88 percent.

It is the second year the FSU nursing program has had a pass rate below 75 percent. In 2007, the school's pass rate was 64 percent, according to Board of Nursing data.

UNC system policy states that any nursing program failing to pass at least 75 percent of its students for two consecutive years could be closed.

FSU Department of Nursing chairwoman Phyllis Morgan told WRAL News on Wednesday that since taking over the program in August she has implemented a number of programs to boost test scores.

“We have aggressively moved toward revising our curriculum,” Morgan said.

She said the department has hired two specialists to track student progress, offer mentoring and train students in test-taking strategies. “At the end of this year, we are expecting our numbers to significantly increase,” she said.

“We’ve identified weaknesses without our faculty. We’ve identified weaknesses with our students, and because of these challenges we’ve strengthened our program,” Morgan added.

James Anderson, FSU chancellor, said he has confidence the program will get on the right track. “The assertive approach is long overdue,” he said.

The FSU nursing program has been on probation for multiple violations of state rules since 2007 with the state Board of Nursing.

A surprise inspection last February found program materials did not adequately and accurately describe the course offerings and that classes exceeded maximum student-teacher ratios.

The Board of Nursing will be sending an education consultant to FSU, board spokesman David Kalbacker said. The board will meet on May 21 and 22 to determine the future of the program.