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UH-Victoria nursing program passes competitors

UH-Victoria’s nursing program beat out every university in Texas and laid claim to its crowning achievement: receiving the highest first-time pass rate of 2013.

About 97.3 percent of the students in UH-V’s Second Degree Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program received a passing rate on the National Council Licensure Exam-Registered Nurse the first time they took it, according to the Texas Board of Nursing. The state average for all RN programs was 83.99 percent, and the national average was 84.28 percent.

Professor and founding Dean of the UH-V School of Nursing Kathryn Tart traces the program’s source of strength to the experienced faculty and the students’ maturity. The small-knit community of students creates an environment conducive to success.

“Our mission is to provide respected nursing leaders, and we will continue to offer excellent nursing education to those individuals who are passionate about nursing,” Tart said. “The bar is always set high for nursing, and I believe all nurses want the best future colleagues in the profession.”

There continues to be mounting concern about nursing shortages, according to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies site, which was created by the legislature in response. UH-V has worked with the local medical community in response to this shortage. Many in the community have requested partnerships with the school and have supported students through scholarships, clinical affiliation agreements and by providing equipment for the Nursing Simulation Center, Tart said.

“The health care community and foundations have been phenomenal. There continues to be a nursing shortage, and the health care industry and education are committed to making sure quality health care is provided to our citizens,” she said.

The Second Degree BSN program accepts 60 students per year from non-nursing academic backgrounds and immerses them in an intense 12-month program.

Denise C. Neill, UH-V School of Nursing undergraduate director and associate professor, said the rigorous curriculum motivated students and knowledgeable professors to produce a top-notch program. The 2013 first-time pass rate was the highest recorded score since the program was founded in 2008, according to the TBN, and was validation of the faculty’s hard work.

“One of the things that we see in our graduates is that they are leaders in their communities, and they are leaders in their workplaces,” Neill said. “It’s a wonderful crowning achievement for the faculty who have worked and poured their heart and soul into that program. It’s the ultimate achievement.”

Faizmeen Pirali, a recent alumna of the program who graduated in December 2013, said graduating from a reputable nursing program has left her with multiple job offers.

“I can’t believe how much I have learned in these 11 months. I went from knowing nothing to becoming a nurse who feels confident in her ability to care for her patients,” Pirali said. “This is truly the work of our great professors; I would not be here, having all this incredible nursing knowledge, if it wasn’t for the faculty ensuring our success every step of the way.”

She said she plans to begin her career at the Houston Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center in late January. Many of her friends in the program have received multiple job offers, too, she said.

“As an alumna, I am most proud of the nursing education that the professors of this school have provided me with. I have never seen professors who are this driven and involved in the students’ education and success,” Pirali said.

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