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WSSU Nursing Program committed to excellence

By Jamie Hunter
On December 9, 2010

  • De-Ann Smith

The Nursing Program at Winston-Salem State is arguably one of the best in North Carolina.

Nursing programs at HBCUs are slowly disappearing, so it makes some wonder just what it is that sets the Nursing Program at WSSU apart.

"We have incredibly dedicated faculty who believe in what they do and do what it takes to provide students with the best possible education," said Dr. Lenora R. Campbell associate dean of nursing.

"The instructors are very knowledgeable; we're instilled with all of the proper information," said Nia Campbell, a sophomore nursing major from Salisbury.

The program is structured and presents all opportunities for success.

"The program and its courses are very carefully thought about and laid out, nothing is haphazard," said Dr. Campbell.

Meeting admissions guidelines for the University does not guarantee students admission to the Nursing Program.

A minimum of 71 hours of general education courses are required for nursing majors. Also required are 14 hours of pre-nursing courses for clinical preparedness.

Students must pass with a score of 80 or better in all nursing courses.

"Students are committed to the process that's preparing them to be professional nurses," Dr. Campbell said.

Graduation rates for WSSU's Nursing Program have increased significantly over the last five years.

In 2005, there were 183 graduates. That number grew to 403 in 2009; the highest of any WSSU major.

"We make a commitment to our students, even if they finish and they are not ready [to enter the workforce as professional nurses], we will work with them until they are," Dr. Campbell said.

N.C. A&T has fallen on hard times with the disappointing drop in their nursing students passing rates for the National Council Licensure Examination. A steady decline over the past several years has left them with a passing rate of 62 percent.  

Fayetteville State's nursing program was suspended in May 2009 for reporting the lowest test scores in the state with a  NCLEX pass rate of 46 percent.

The N.C. Board of Nursing requires state nursing programs to have passing rates at 95 percent of the national rate, based on a three-year average.

The passing rate for WSSU's Nursing program this year is at 87 percent.

"It's lower than we'd like it to be; 90 or above is ideal," Dr. Campbell said.

With all of the troubles that N.C. A&T and FSU face in getting their nursing program's back up to standards, they don't have to do it alone.

"We stand ready to assist A&T because they're family, and we're willing to help them in doing what it takes to be successful," Dr. Campbell said. "We can't afford to lose these programs."

Nursing programs at HBCU's graduate the largest percent of minority nurses for which there is a shortage in the workforce.  

"Cutbacks affected us earlier on, mainly in the area of faculty travel for development, workshops, seminars, etc. However it hasn't been much of a problem in the last two years," said Dr. Campbell.

"Hands down, whatever we need to provide a stellar education [to our students] the administration provides. We do not go without."

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