The Anderson University nursing class of 2011 achieved what no other Indiana school did that year: receiving a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX nurse licensing exam.
Many changes have been made in the school as a whole in recent years, which have contributed to this accomplishment. Working to establish a firm curriculum, while allowing students to spend more time in lab and clinicals, has allowed the School of Nursing to flourish. “We strived to have a good pass rate because it reinforced our program’s quality, but more importantly, it was proof of our students being successful,” said Dr. Karen Williams, dean of the School of Nursing.
The Anderson University School of Nursing strives not only to educate and graduate skilled nurses but also to create a strong sense of community for students, faculty and staff. “It’s a joyous place to be,” said Williams. “Our department works as a team, caring about the lives of not only our fellow faculty members, but our students.”
Achieving this 100 percent pass rate required preparation from each professor in the School of Nursing.
“We have increased the hours spent providing hands-on learning,” said Jason Pierce, assistant professor of nursing. “It’s important to remember that after graduation, students will be asked to apply the theories we’ve taught them in real-life settings.”
[Photo: Nursing students work together to perfect their skills and knowledge on one of the School of Nursing’s patient simulators. Credit: Haley Burger.]
The overall consensus within the School of Nursing is the importance of being practice-oriented. “I work up to eight hours a week in the ER at Community Hospital Anderson,” said Pierce. “It keeps me skilled and updated on the ever-changing world of nursing, along with giving me great stories to tell in class.”
Establishing a curriculum that would benefit each student throughout their future career, the School of Nursing created an educational program that is still impacting the lives of nursing students, both past and present.
Katie Berkompas, a 2011 AU graduate, is currently living in Hawaii. Within the next few months, Berkompas will begin working as a full-time registered nurse for one of the major hospitals in Honolulu. “The support of my nursing class and professors was key to helping me achieve success,” said Berkompas.
Williams and the rest of the faculty members care deeply about each student’s journey. “We pray for our students every day,” said Williams. “We rejoice every time we get an e-mail updating us on a passed NCLEX or how they enjoy life as an RN.”
Berkompas acknowledges the dedicated efforts of the School of Nursing faculty. “I feel like I could not have been any better prepared to work as an RN outside of college,” she said. “The professors taught me the skills and critical thinking needed and gave me the confidence needed to be a great nurse.”
— Hannah Schumacher is a senior from Bluffton, Ohio, majoring in communication arts and writing. Schumacher is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.