Grambling State Undergraduate Nursing Program Loses Approval

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Louisiana State Board of Nursing has voted to suspend Grambling State University's undergraduate nursing program because of poor test scores.

         The board made the decision on Thursday after the nursing program has struggled to maintain exam pass rates since 2010, multiple news media outlets report.

         Grambling officials say 16 current Level 2 and Level 3 undergraduate nursing students are affected by the change. They will have to either switch their majors or complete their nursing degrees somewhere else.

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         Neither the master's program in nursing, nor the status of Level 4 and Level 5 students is affected by the decision.

         "We are disappointed with the order that the Louisiana State Board of Nursing adopted this afternoon," GSU Interim President Cynthia Warrick said. "We will continue to revamp and reorganize the nursing program, so that we can reopen the nursing program as soon as possible. We are using all of our resources to support our existing students to pass the NCLEX exam."

         In order to obtain a license to become a registered nurse, students must pass a National Council Licensure Examination. State regulations require programs to maintain a pass rate of 80 percent among first-time test takers.

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         Last year the nursing board decided not to allow students to be admitted into the undergraduate program.

         In May, 20 nursing students found out they would have to retake their exit exam course over the summer at Northwestern State University and pass the exit exam in order to receive their degrees.

         State Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, passed a resolution on Thursday asking the nursing board to reconsider its decision, the News-Star’s Bonnie Bolden reports. Senate colleagues gave unanimous support to the resolution, even though it doesn't carry legal weight.

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         "I'm disappointed," Gallot said from the Senate chamber. "We have a new president and are working with Northwestern (State University) to restructure the program and get it back on track."

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