Visit from state board reveals no problems with nursing curriculum

Christine Lee, Senior News Editor

Despite lower-than-average test scores on the National Council Licensing Exam last year, a visit from an official from the state nursing board has revealed no problems with the School of Nursing.

Last month, the education officer from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing visited campus to ensure that the school was complying with the proponents of its action plan after it was revealed an overall pass rate for first time undergraduate test takers of 74 percent. Associate Dean Mary Ann Merrigan said the officer believed the scores to be an abnormality for the school.

“Everything that she saw she was pleased with,” Merrigan said. “She hopes, as did we, that it was just an anomaly this year because based on everything she saw she didn’t see any problems with our program.”

Merrigan said the officer reinforced the things already being done in the action plan, including changing the passing grade of nursing courses to 79 percent, maintaining a grade-point average of 2.5, requiring a 500 math and verbal SAT score to be admitted into the program and reconstructing courses.

“It was a very positive visit, that’s for certain,” Merrigan said.

Merrigan said the officer was impressed to see that Wilkes has invested the time and money into the program by giving them a new simulation center in the basement of Stark Learning Center and a new home on the second floor of Stark.

“She was impressed with the facilities in the simulation center,” Merrigan said.

Merrigan explained the visit was considered part of the school’s three-year compliance review, which looks at whether the school is acting in accordance with with the regulations set up by the board. The visit revealed no compliance issues with the program.

“To her it looked like we have been doing the correct thing and we’re continuing to do the correct thing,” Merrigan said.