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Release: May 19, 1999

UI nursing graduates score well on national licensing exam

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Graduates of the University of Iowa College of Nursing scored a 97 percent pass rate on a national licensing exam during the most recent reporting period, compared with a national rate of 82 percent of nursing graduates who passed the test on their first try.

"This is great news," said Mary Blegen, Ph.D., associate dean of nursing for academic affairs. "It shows our graduates are well prepared to enter the nursing profession and to provide high quality health care."

The 97 percent pass rate for the six-month period ending March 31 is up from 92 percent for the period from April through September 1998 and is the highest pass rate since 1990. It ranks the College of Nursing 25th among 269 similar degree programs in the United States. Of the 64 UI nursing graduates who took the exam during the recent reporting period, 46 -- or 72 percent -- applied for licensure in Iowa.

Nursing school graduates cannot become registered nurses until they pass the licensing exam. The test is administered separately by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing at computerized testing sites around the country. Licenses are granted by the licensing board in each state, but all states use the same national standards.

UI graduates earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing and must meet the university's general education requirements in addition to completing coursework and practical experience in nursing. The College of Nursing also offers graduate programs leading to certification for advanced practice nurses in pediatrics, adult and gerontological nursing, and family nursing.