When all of Union College’s December 2015 graduates passed the NCLEX-RN national nursing licensure exam on their first attempt, graduate Amber Alas knew it wasn’t a fluke.

“I knew the material. I remembered learning it in class,” she said. “I talked to friends from other schools and they told me they hadn’t seen half the stuff on the test.”

Nationally, only about 85 percent of nursing graduates pass the NCLEX-RN—an exam all nurses must pass to receive a license to practice—on their first attempt. Union’s first-time pass rate for 2015 is the best in the state of Nebraska.

“This achievement demonstrates the hard work of our students as well as the high quality professors who teach in the Union College nursing program,” said Nicole Orian, chair of the Division of Nursing. “The NCLEX-RN is a challenging exam and we are very proud of all our students.”

The December 2015 graduates are the second class to graduate under a new curriculum launched in 2013 to better prepare students for a dynamically changing healthcare environment driven by technology and information. “It’s quite uncommon to roll out a new curriculum and experience such immediate success,” said Orian. “Typically, a nursing school would expect to see a temporary decrease in the NCLEX-RN scores while minor revisions are being made to the curriculum. The time spent by the nursing faculty to systematically develop each and every nursing course to include standards of best practice and meet the expectations of our accrediting bodies is a testament to their commitment to provide excellence in nursing education. This dedication has proven to be beneficial to our students and has provided them a strong foundation to be successful nurses.”

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