DeWitt School of Nursing clinical instructors Michelle Klein, left, and Cally Claussen demonstrate a new, life-like human simulator designed to give nursing students more realistic patient experiences.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas-December graduates of Stephen F. Austin State University's Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing have achieved a 100-percent passing rate on the NCLEX State Boards, a required test for Registered Nurses in the state of Texas.

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the average passage rate in Texas for first-time baccalaureate level students taking the NCLEX was 91.4 percent this quarter. The state requires nursing candidates to pass the NCLEX in order to measure the skills and knowledge of entry-level nurses.

"The high passage rate ranking indicates exceptional success of the program in educating critically thinking nurses at SFA," said Mary Pack, clinical instructor for the School of Nursing. "This exceptional passage rate places our program among the top RN programs in the state."

Dennis Bailey was one of the 40 graduates who received a passing score on the exam and is now employed as a surgery nurse at Lufkin Memorial Hospital. After seemingly endless studying, he said passing the test was a huge relief and he felt ready to take on his new career.

"The SFA faculty was great at teaching us the curriculum and preparing us through clinical experience," Bailey said. "I love my new job, and I can't wait to get up in the morning to go to work."

The news of the high passage rate comes at an exciting time for the DeWitt School of Nursing. With a new facility scheduled to open in January and state-of-the-art technologies being introduced to the program, the SFA nursing faculty is busy preparing for the changes.

"The advanced technologies will provide students the opportunity to master skills in a safe, non-threatening environment," said Glenda Walker, director of the School of Nursing. "This provides students with an educational experience that blends the best of technology with the caring, nurturing approach of the School of Nursing faculty."