Reviving the Nursing Program at Fayetteville State University

The guidelines of the board of governors of the University of North Carolina system call for nursing programs at state universities to produce graduates who pass the state licensing examination on the first try at a rate of 85 percent. Schools that fall below 75 percent for two consecutive years are subject to having their nursing programs terminated.

At Fayetteville State University, a historically black educational institution, the pass rate on the state licensing examination over the past two years has been 46 percent. In 2008 only 24 of the 61 nursing students who took the test, or 39 percent, passed.

However, the board of governors has decided not to close the program but instead to make significant changes in its admissions procedures. Qualifications for admission will be raised and the number of students may be cut by as much as 75 percent. James Anderson, chancellor of the university, told the board, “The prior emphasis was on the number of students admitted, not their quality. Basically we knew that a third of our entering students would not be successful.”