The Kilgore College nursing department has had two-straight semesters with a 100 percent student passing rate for first-time test-takers of the NCLEX test.
Over the last three semesters, the KC nursing program has also boasted a 98.4 percent first-time passing rate on the NCLEX test with 64 graduates.
The NCLEX tests students for the ability required to safely and effectively practice entry-level nursing.
Dayna Davidson, Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program director, attributes the success to several factors including KC’s dedicated faculty and several key changes made to improve student success.
“Curriculum and faculty are a few of the critical areas that saw change. The faculty participated in the writing of the Texas Concept Based Curriculum (TxNCBC) and the curriculum was adopted in the fall of 2015,” Davidson said. “It (the new curriculum) encouraged a more problem-solving approach which improved the development of critical thinking skills to better prepare the students for success.”
Davidson said KC students worked diligently and applied themselves to embrace the “flipped classroom” (engagement teaching strategies) approach.
“We had a year or two where we didn’t meet our high expectations with the passing standards being raised by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) but we are on the upswing now with the latest technology and teaching strategies,” Davidson said.
KC moved its nursing department in the fall of 2014 to the KC Health Science Center located at the former Roy H. Laird Memorial Hospital just adjacent to the Kilgore campus on Highway 259.
Louise Wiley, dean of Science and Health Sciences at KC, said KC nursing students have benefitted from having state-of-the-art technology in the new facility to train with.
“The simulation labs we have that our students train on have made an enormous impact since moving to the new building,” Wiley said. “One-third of all students’ clinical experiences occur in the simulation lab.”
Wiley said the simulations have also allowed students to build more confidence in their skills.
“Faculty can also better assess students and have students return to the skills labs for one-on-one attention as needed,” Wiley said.
Being focused on student success, the nursing program at KC is also looking to add a peer mentoring program to assist students with study habits, study groups and real-life suggestions to advance personal success.
“We are constantly looking for ways to assist students through the nursing pathway to succeed at each level,” Davidson said. “We are working on a student-friendly pathway to seamlessly advance students from Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) to Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) to Registered Nurse (RN) and to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or beyond.”
Both Davidson and Wiley agree that KC is an excellent option for nursing education in the East Texas area.
“KC is an excellent choice for providing a learner-centered environment that focuses on student access, success and completion via collaborative partnerships,” Davidson said. “We look forward to training the next generation of nurses who can help people in need while working in a profession they truly love.”
For more information on the nursing program at KC visit www.kilgore.edu/adn.