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Spring 2013 College of Nursing graduates pose for a portrait outside of Dempsey Hall at UW Oshkosh.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX, is the standard barometer of a nurse’s knowledge and skill.

And, for the last eight quarters, no group of students in the University of Wisconsin System has earned a pass rate like UW Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON) undergraduates have. 

“Our UW Oshkosh College of Nursing undergraduate program has the highest pass NCLEX first-time pass rate of all UW System Schools with 96 percent in the past 8 quarters,” said Dr. Suzanne Marnocha, UW Oshkosh CON assistant dean and undergraduate director. “It is our dedicated students tied to the vision of the College of Nursing that makes this possible.”

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) describes the NCLEX tests as “an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse.”

For two years, the NCLEX scores posted by nursing students have been among the University’s key “Points of Pride.”  UW Oshkosh’s 96 percent pass rate is above the national average. The NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate nationally, for the more than 40,500 students pursuing an RN degree that took the test in the last eight quarters, was 89 percent, according to the RN Degree Analysis.

Cori King, a new CON graduate will take her NCLEX exam between June and July this summer. King said she feels confident thanks to the multifaceted ways her program prepared her for the test.

“There are so many tools to prepare for the exam — practice exams, comprehensive predictors and focused reviews,” she said. “I feel good about taking the test this summer.”

UW Oshkosh students’ test success is also an indication of success to come.

When nurses achieve their degrees and hit the workforce, the NCLEX test and the array of other rigorous practical experiences, programs and preparations packaged with it at UW Oshkosh ensure they are ready to go. Graduates exemplify the UW Oshkosh College of Nursing’s vision of developing caring and scholarly leaders who positively impact contemporary and future health care.

Dr. Brent MacWilliams, a faculty member who helps lead CON’s Accelerated Online BSN Option, said the UW Oshkosh students “have a track record of exceptional academic performance, are highly engaged and transition well into the professional workplace.”

The program is focused on instilling three key qualities in its students: a high level of engagement, a capacity to learn and the ability to work in clinical and “preceptor” settings.

“Students are the center of the process” MacWilliams said.

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