Northern nursing grads have best pass rate in Ontario

100 percent of graduates pass license exam on the first try

Registered nursing students at Northern College in Timmins have reached a 100 per cent milestone in the pass rate for their national licensing exam.
The college recently revealed that the Northern BScN graduates, enrolled in the four-year Laurentian University affiliated program, have earned the highest pass rate in Ontario. The Northern students, who take their entire BSc program at the Timmins campus, earned a 100 per cent pass rate.
The usual pass rate for the exam is in the 80 per cent to 85 per cent range for those who attempt the exam for the first time, said the college news release.
According to the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN,) the test is an entry-to-practice examination for those applying to become a Registered Nurse that tests the competencies nurses need at the beginning of their careers.
Anyone applying to practice as a Registered Nurse in Ontario must pass the NCLEX-RN exam as well as meet additional requirements to become a member of the College of Nurses.
“This is what they need in order to be able to work as a Registered Nurse,” said Sarah Campbell, Northern’s Dean of Health Sciences. She said the college normally gets a copy of exam results after the graduating class writes the NCLEX-RN exam.
“When we got the results they were absolutely spectacular,” said Campbell.
As Ontario’s smallest College, Northern is proud of these results, as they speak to the quality of education being offered through smaller class sizes and a curriculum created with a focus on experiential learning, said the college. Campbell added that in many cases the nursing students get one-on-one instruction from their professors.
“These results show that as a small college competing against larger colleges, we still rise above and demonstrate that excellence can be and is achieved in the North– surpassing many in the province, and second to none,” Campbell continued.
“It is also a very clear reflection that our faculty is quite simply the best you can get in nursing education, and our partnerships are the strongest and most conducive to a real world learning experience,” she said.
As Northern College continues to position itself as a unique learning centre, milestones like this one help to drive a larger narrative about quality education in the north according to Northern College president Fred Gibbons.
“This is quite an achievement and I am very proud of our graduates and of our faculty for so capably preparing our graduates for success in writing the licensing exam. This is what distinguishes the excellence of our nursing program and its graduates,” said Gibbons.
“Nursing is one of several signature programs that draws students from across Canada and internationally to study at Northern College.”
Campbell also revealed that a significant number of the Northern nursing grads are from the North and she expects many of them will be finding quick employment with some the places where they did their clinical rotations as students.
“So our local hospitals, long term care, public health units. So they will be filling those employment shortages and staying in the North,” said Campbell. She added that some of the graduates are mature students with families and are not in a position to move on to a larger city in Southern Ontario.

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