Kelsey Heatley/Web Editor
The Del Mar Nurse Education Program still has full accreditation with the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission and Texas Board of Nursing (TBON), but has been placed under a “warning” status.
According to Mark Escamilla the (TBON) spent a considerable time with the students and faculty in the nursing program.
“That slip in pass rates for first-time examinees added a “warning” to the college’s Full Approval status with the TBON,” Escamilla said.
The board of nursing benchmarks for approval is an 80% passing rate for graduates who take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam for the first time. DMC’S graduates had a passing rate of 79.56% on their first attempts in 2010, and 78.52% on the exams in 2011.
The warning requires the Nurse Education Program to improve its licensure exam pass rate for graduates taking the exam for the first time. However, it does not effect the program’s accreditation with the National League for Nursing Accreditation Council or approval from the state nursing board.
“The warning does mean that the program needs to increase its NCLEX exam passing rate for future graduating cohorts,” Escamilla said.
In the past several years the nursing program showed a huge increase in enrollment but was followed by a loss of teachers in 2008 due to retirement.
The program lost 6 full time faculty members they have not been able to replace.
“Replacing full-time, master’s degree level nursing faculty is a challenge the College continues to face,” Escamilla said.
Department Chair Dr. Bertie Almendarez and program Chair Dr. Evangeline De Leon already have set plans to improve the passing rate for future cohorts.
Stronger admission and readmission criteria are being aligned to predict student success on licensure exams.
The program will also add a new student orientation boot camp.
“Students entering the nursing program in the future will need to meet more stringent admissions criteria,” Escamilla said.
The program has implemented the SATIN project (Statewide At-Risk Tracking and Intervention for Nurses). They have also instituted progressive testing with standardized exams and other forms of assessment to determine licensure exam and readiness.
Students that are currently in the program will be able to continue their educational studies and should plan to graduate on their current timeline.
“Nursing program administrators are presently assuring all current students that their program is sold and their potential to graduate and become licensed nurses is safe,” Escamilla said.
For all the information on the Nurse Education Current Status visit http://www.delmar.edu/rn/status.html.