By Jay Salter
2019 Newberry graduate, serves as communication specialist in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
On the heels of a series of achievements and innovations over the past year, a swell of new student interest and exciting plans for the future, the Newberry College Department of Nursing has a clean bill of health as it marks its 10th year.
“I’m really excited about where we’re headed as a program,” said Dr. Susan Ludwick, chair of the Department of Nursing. “We enjoyed a great meeting with the state board of nursing recently. After reviewing how our average NCLEX-RN exam first-time pass rate has risen to 95 percent over the past year, above the state average, along with some of the changes we’ve made program-wide, I know we’re on the edge of something great.”
In addition to stellar pass rates, an exponential rise in student interest in the program has served as an indicator of success. Ludwick noted a sharp increase in the number of pre-nursing students over the last year – freshmen and sophomores who are completing nursing prerequisites and have yet to be admitted to the program.
“Our program is growing, and it’s not only a sign of success, it’s a key contributor,” said Ludwick, who has chaired the department since the beginning of 2019. She cited strengthened program admission requirements and a partnership with ATI Nursing Education as key factors in the program’s expansion. She named the emergent RN-to-BSN online degree-completion program, for working registered nurses, and plans for a new nursing education facility as exciting avenues for continued growth.
As part of the Scaling the Summit campaign, the College plans to construct a 12,000 square-foot health and nursing facility at the corner of College and Evans streets. The new building, to feature state-of-the-art classrooms and clinical simulation labs, will help better prepare students for careers in an ever-evolving industry.
“This growth is incredibly important to meet the increasing need for highly qualified nurses,” said Ludwick. “And I am proud to say that Newberry is a leader in the field.”