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Worcester State Named Top Nursing School in Massachusetts

One of the most important measures used to evaluate the quality of a nursing program is the first-time pass rates of its graduates on the National Council Licensure Examinations exam. Worcester State University nursing students once again received a 100% pass rate on this pivotal exam, making this the third year in a row WSU has claimed the accolade of highest scoring baccalaureate program in the state. Nursing graduates must pass the NCLEX exam, governed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, to be eligible to practice as a registered nurse.

WSU President Barry Maloney was proud to announce that each of the 52 candidates passed the NCLEX, exceeding the Massachusetts pass rate of 84 percent and the national average of 85 percent, demonstrating the academic quality and rigor of training received by students in collaboration with dedicated, highly qualified professors and practitioners.

“We are very proud to share that the B.S. in Nursing program’s first-time pass rate reported by the Massachusetts Board of Nursing on the NCLEX exam is 100% for the Class of 2016, well above the national pass rate,” said Associate Dean for Nursing Stephanie Chalupka, Ed.D.

“This success is due, in large part, to the commitment of the Nursing Department [1] faculty to maintain high academic standards and provide a rigorous curriculum while providing the necessary support for student learning,” she added. “The faculty in provide a wealth of experience and demonstrated effectiveness in both classroom and clinical settings.”

“Our department is fully committed to graduating nurses who can enter the profession able to deliver safe, quality nursing care to their patients,” Chalupka said. “We are confident that our graduates can make clinical decisions that provide outstanding care to the patient.”

“The 100 percent pass rate is a product of the hard work of our students and the talent, teamwork and dedication of our faculty,” she said. “I congratulate both our students and the department faculty. I am certain that both will play a leading role in patient and community health for years to come.”

Worcester State’s nursing program is now ranked number one in the state, along with only two other programs that achieved a 100 percent pass rate. WSU is the only baccalaureate nursing program in the state to achieve a 100 percent pass rate last year.

For nursing schools to retain accreditation, their students must achieve a benchmark first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN. Because the NCLEX test is updated periodically, based on a practice analysis conducted every three years, and due to the rising benchmark pass rates, nurse educators are challenged to meet these standards.

This achievement is truly remarkable and a testament to the nursing students and faculty. In 2011, WSU ranked 44th out of 47 nursing programs in the state (80 percent). With a change in strategies and a renewed commitment to student success, the 2012 cohort scored 100 percent and were the top-performing baccalaureate program in the state.

In 2014 and 2015, the pass rate for WSU nursing students was 98 percent. In 2013, the pass rate was 93 percent, and in 2012, the pass rate was 100 percent.