Report Puts AIC Nursing Program Tops in Region with Exam Results

SPRINGFIELD — The latest results of the 2012 Performance Summary for Massachusetts nursing-education programs rank American International College tops in Western Mass., and third in the state among schools with BSN students taking the state licensure exam.
The report from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services indicates that 97{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of AIC nursing students passed the licensure exam in 2012. That rate is higher than the state rate of 90.5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} and the national average of 90.3{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}.
Sixty-nine AIC nursing students took the exam, the largest number of students from any institution among the top 10 schools, and the largest number of students from any school in Western Mass. offering a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
Karen Rousseau, director of Nursing at AIC, said the numbers are a result of hard work. “We’re very happy to see that we are ranked so highly. Our current seniors declared the goal to be the first to earn a 100{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} rate after they heard about last year’s success.”
With support from the Thompson Family Foundation, AIC has implemented a nursing tutoring program that provides intensive instruction for courses and licensure testing that have proven difficult for students.
“The grant allows us to foster student success and increase student retention and graduation,” Rousseau said. “Tutoring services are coordinated between the Center for Academic Success and the Division of Nursing. Tutoring is provided by experienced, registered nurses who work in the field. In addition, the tutors provide NCLEX test preparation for graduating students to prepare them for the rigors of the examination.”
AIC nursing faculty have targeted a number of initiatives to promote clinical reasoning, academic success, and ultimately success on the NCLEX-RN exam for the AIC students, she continued, adding that this includes the integration of clinical simulation across the curriculum with equipment purchased from a $258,000 ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) grant, and most recently an upgrade to the nursing laboratory facility. Through the Thompson Grant, nurse mentors have been put in place to help students study in their senior year as they prepare to graduate and sit for their state board examinations. Additionally, a $2.38 million grant from HRSA was obtained in the fall of 2012 to provide scholarships to disadvantaged students.
Going forward over the next three years, AIC will be able to provide 40 disadvantaged students each year with $40,000 scholarships, thus minimizing the financial strain of attending school. “Students will be able to focus on their studies and work less, while still meeting their living needs,” Rousseau said.
Cesarina Thompson, dean of the School of Health Sciences, said the impressive performance on the NCLEX-RN is a testament to the dedication and expertise of both the program director and faculty. “Their commitment to providing students with excellent learning opportunities that incorporate the very latest professional standards and competencies is certainly evident. AIC graduates can be confident that they are well-prepared for the realities and complexities of nursing practice and the healthcare industry.
“In addition,” she went on, “we are fortunate at AIC to have excellent academic support services that have contributed to the success of our students. Through the Center for Academic Success, tutoring and mentoring programs have been implemented specifically for nursing students, which have also positively impacted student outcomes.”

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