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NMC’s Passsage Rate for NCLEX Surpasses International Average (May 8, 2008)

With a passage rate of 61%, the Northern Marianas College Nursing Program surpasses the international average for all two- and four-year universities with regard to the percentage of students who pass the extremely challenging National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam.

The NCLEX, which tests nursing knowledge, skills, and abilities, is used by nursing boards to award nurse licenses. Since the beginning of 2007, 61% of the NMC Nursing Program graduates have passed the test. The average passage rate for all 2 and 4-year international schools during the same period is only 42%.

“That NMC’s nursing graduates’ passage rate exceeds the international average is further evidence of the program’s and the institution’s progressive curriculum and high-caliber faculty,”ť said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez.

The high passage rate is especially notable since all of NMC nursing graduates can be considered English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Students whose first language is English historically have had a first time passage rate that ranged between 67.7% and 95%. Students for whom English was a second language have had a passage rate between 33.3% and 47%. The passage rate for internationally based 2- and 4-year nursing programs in 2007, however, was 42%.

A 2001 study by J. G. Johnston concluded that language skills are a key factor in passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Numerous other studies concluded that English language skills are a key factor in passing the NCLEX-RN exam.

ESL students are those whose primary language at home is not Standard English, and therefore, may not be fluent in the Standard English in which the NCLEX exam is written. NMC’s English placement standards and rigorous language arts curriculum can be””to a large extent””credited for NMC nursing graduates’ above-average success rate when compared to international schools with ESL students.

Presently there are 41 NMC graduate nurses working at the Commonwealth Health Center, the CNMI’s only hospital. At least 5 others are working in other private clinics within the CNMI.

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