Northwestern ASN students have 100 percent pass rate on licensing exam


Graduates from Northwestern State University’s May 2017 Associate of Science in Nursing program recently achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the latest National Council Licensure Exam, according to Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health.

The 46-member graduating class includes students from Northwestern State’s Shreveport, Leesville and Natchitoches campuses. Nationwide, the first-time pass rate in 2016 for ASN programs was 81.68 percent. Statewide, the first-time pass rate in 2016 for ASN Programs was 87.48 percent.

Pam Holcombe, ASN and BSN program director at Northwestern, said the initial steps to launching a successful nursing career are to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX.

“The ultimate goal is for all of our nursing students to be successful,” said Holcombe, an assistant professor of nursing. “The NCLEX measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse.”

Holcombe believes Northwestern’s nursing faculty should be recognized for their active role in preparing nursing students for a challenging healthcare career.

“The 100 percent pass rate is an indicator of program quality, a cutting edge curriculum, the work of our exceptional faculty, simulated experiences and the ability of students to gain real life experience at a variety of quality health care facilities,” said Holcombe. “Faculty have worked hard to offer a consistently rigorous, standard-driven program. Students understand professional values provide the foundation for quality nursing care. Northwestern’s ASN students are dedicated to the process of obtaining quality education which is reflected in the group’s pass rate and their success in being employed after graduation.”

Over the past several semesters, nursing faculty began several initiatives to prepare students for the NCLEX exam. Holcombe said NSU has moved to computerized testing, provided extra tutoring and utilized hospital provided simulation experiences to add to understanding of classroom knowledge in clinical learning environments. Students also receive active learning opportunities in the classroom.

“The students work hard over the course of the two years they are enrolled in the program, and we are very proud of them,” said Holcombe.

For more information on Northwestern State’s nursing programs, go to