PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The pandemic hasn’t been easy for any college students. Many getting unmotivated and struggling after switching to virtual learning.
However, that’s not the case for the 2020 nursing graduates at the University of West Florida. The college announced that 95 percent of their students passed the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurses (RN) on their first attempt.
WKRG talked with the surpassed the state and the country national average rates.
UWF Interim Chair for the School of Nursing Dr. Crystal Bennett says, “This was an improvement from 2019 so we are excited to see… not only did we exceed the national average and the state average for graduates but we actually improved ourselves from the previous years.”
Dr. Bennett has been at the university since 2004 and says their nursing program has grown exponentially.
“So we started out I believe with about 30 students once a year and throughout the years we have added cohorts of students and now we admit 50 students three times a year for our prelicensure program.”
The school has also added an MSN program with a nurse executive and nurse education track, as well as a fairly new family nurse practitioner program and says both the students and faculty are the ones to thank for all their progress.
“They just rose to the challenge and I hear comments from local nurse educators in our community that say our students are demonstrating resilience,” says Bennett.
Their reputation has made many health institutions reach out to them asking specifically for their students to fill in open positions.
“100 percent employment rate,” says Dr. Bennett. “If students want a job as a nurse in our local community alone there are jobs available. I have filled phone calls from local hospitals asking for UWF graduates asking for bedside nurses.”
Dr. Bennett says they are continuing to expand to date, adding six new faculty members and allowing more students into their programs.
Bennett also spoke about the average age of RNs is 48-50 and the need for upcoming nurses is on its way.
The expected job growth is expected to increase by 7% in the next decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For more information about their nursing programs, click here.