Every Bobcat passed the nursing license exam on their first try last year

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Every Bobcat passed the nursing license exam on their first try last year

Nursing students check and react to the heart beat of an infant simulator at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus.

Nursing students check and react to the heart beat of an infant simulator at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus.

Photo courtesy of Chandler Prude

Nursing students check and react to the heart beat of an infant simulator at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus.

Photo courtesy of Chandler Prude

Photo courtesy of Chandler Prude

Nursing students check and react to the heart beat of an infant simulator at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus.

Carrington Tatum

ROUND ROCK, TEXAS – RN Careers, a nursing nonprofit, ranked Texas State’s nursing program among the top five in the state, furthering its reputation as a tier one choice for students.

The nonprofit provides resources to aspiring nurses, and on May 20, ranked St. David’s School of Nursing number three in the state. This is only the most recent of several top-five rankings for the nursing program.

Texas State’s program holds second in the state from the organization Registered Nurses, a similar nonprofit for nursing students. While the criteria for ranking from each site is assorted, they are helpful research tools for students like Lauren Fairman, who is pursuing her second bachelor’s in nursing at St. David’s in Round Rock.

“I’ve lived in Round Rock since I was 10, so it was convenient,” Fairman said. “(Texas State) has a really high NCLEX pass rate, and I wanted a program that was going to challenge me and ensure I’m going to pass my licensure exams.”

RN Careers’ counts three years of pass rates from each college for the test required to earn a nursing license, the National Council Licensure Exam. Since 2016, St. David’s has had a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN, according to the Texas Board of Nursing.

The average pass rate in Texas is 91 percent and 88 percent nationally. However, St. David’s is smaller on average, with 88 students taking the exam in 2018 compared to the largest: the University of Texas at Arlington’s 586 students with a 91 percent pass rate.

Fairman said she researched nursing programs online and that NCLEX pass rates and admissions statistics were the most important factors in her choice.

“I wanted to go to a school that doesn’t just admit anyone and is picky about who goes there,” Fairman said.

Texas State did not have a nursing school until 2008 when a nurse shortage warranted building the addition. St. David’s was opened with its first and current director Marla Erbin-Roesemann, who attributes the success of the program to its rigor and echoed Fairman’s sentiment.

“The faculty have been exceptional in their ability to educate these new nurses,” Erbin-Roesemann said. “I think their curriculum is cutting edge, and these are very bright and accomplished students. It’s not like we let just anyone into our program.”

Texas State only admits 100 students into the nursing program every year out of about 300 applicants. Only a few are waitlisted and of those who are, most are admitted according to Roesemann.

Luis Molinar is the vice president of the Student Nursing Organization and said he was an alternate before being accepted to the program.

“Because I was an alternate, I felt even more motivated to give it my all,” Molinar said. “The program is extremely challenging, but it provides the foundation for success in the field of nursing. St. David’s School of Nursing has a proven track record that allows students to thrive at the highest level and achieve all (of their) desired goals.”

Aly Divin said she attended Texas State to complete her prerequisites, and St. David’s was her first choice for nursing school. However, Divin said she was rejected by St. David’s for being half a point off on the reading section of the TEAS entrance exam. She now studies nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

“I think (St. David’s) should start doing interviews in person before letting people in just based on grades and a personal statement letter,” Divin said. “I definitely feel like the quality of schooling is probably about the same (in Galveston). Both (are) pretty intense, rigorous programs.”

Erbin-Roesemann expects to maintain a 100 percent pass rate as the school of nursing expands into research and a doctoral program.

Students can find more information about St. David’s School of Nursing at nursing.txstate.edu.

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