Crisis at Predominantly Black Nursing School in Mississippi

Over the past decade, nearly 100 percent of the students graduating from the nursing program at Alcorn State University, the historically black educational institution in Mississippi, have passed the national nursing licensure examination.

But the latest results for this year’s students show that only 21 of 91 students in the nursing program passed the test. Eleven of the 37 students in the nursing bachelor’s degree program passed the licensure examination. In the two-year associate’s degree program in nursing, only 10 of the 54 students passed the test.

The students who failed the licensure examination will have two additional opportunities to achieve passing grades.

Officials at the nursing school note that the school has lost 14 faculty members over the past two years and they believe this has resulted in the severe drop in licensure examination passage rates. The Mississippi legislature has enacted $12,000 raises for nursing faculty in the hope of retaining current faculty and attracting new nursing professionals to the school.