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UWO student nurses still scoring highest in Wisconsin on key test

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, known as NCLEX, is the standard test used to measure a nurse’s knowledge and skill.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON) students have consistently earned the highest pass rate in the University of Wisconsin System. In 2015, UW Oshkosh’s 96.45 percent pass rate put them well above the national average of 89 percent for first time test takers with a baccalaureate degree.

“UW Oshkosh graduates more undergraduate nurses than any other program in the state,” said Suzanne Marnocha, CON assistant dean and pre-licensure director. “In 2015, we graduated 197 students and maintained the highest NCLEX scores in Wisconsin.”

The NCLEX is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and is used to measure competencies in new nurses needed to safely and effectively administer care as a newly licensed, entry-level nurses.

“The NCLEX scores are a good indicator of the quality of an undergraduate nursing program because they measure what the student learned in the nursing program,” said Leslie Neal-Boylan, CON dean and professor. “Anyone looking to become a nurse or to teach in a nursing program, should always look at the school or college’s NCLEX scores to determine the quality of the program.”

“The scores reveal that our students are prepared very well once they graduate to meet these standards,” Marnocha said.

Students in the UWO CON program learn much more than just content on NCLEX. “We develop well-rounded caring and scholarly nurse leaders,” Marnocha said.

“Our instructors say if they end up in the hospital, they feel comfortable looking up and seeing the face of one of our graduates. They feel secure and in good hands. It’s a testament to the strength of our program when our instructors say that.”

NCLEX scores are used by hiring agencies and nurse recruiters when hiring new graduates.

“Nurse recruiters are very well aware of the NCLEX. They want to know if a prospective employee passed the NCLEX. They quickly learn which schools have the highest NCLEX scores and then they recruit and hire from those schools.” Neal-Boylan said.

“Our program may be a bit more difficult to get into but the result is high NCLEX pass rates because our students are of the highest quality.”

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