Performance on External Examinations

College of Health Sciences

Nursing Prelicensure Licensing Examination: NCLEX

The College of Health Sciences tracks pass rates on all the programs within the College requiring licensure or certification to practice. Benchmarks vary according to the program.

The School of Nursing tracks pass rates for prelicensure students taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The School of Nursing Faculty set the benchmark for first time test-takers at or greater than the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBON) requirement or national average. This is reflected in criterion 6.52 of the School of Nursing Undergraduate Program Effectiveness Evaluation Plan.

The rationale for the benchmark is based on the GBON requirement stated in rule 410-3-.09:

  • Acceptable performance on the licensing examination for each nursing education program shall be a passing rate of at least eighty (80) percent of its first-time test takers in any given calendar year;
  • A passing percentage of at least eighty (80) percent of all first-time test takers. The table below indicates pass rates for the past 4 years for GC first time NCLEX test takers.

    ProgramStudent Description 2009 2010201120122013 2014 2015 2016
    Georgia College and State University (BSN)# Passed 75 838595 95 85 99 92
     # Taking Exam 76 848897 99 92 105 96
     % Pass 99% 99%96.50%97.90%96.08% 92.39% 94.29% 95.83%
    National pass rates1st time US educated Baccalaureate degree 89.49% 88.69%89.09%91.66%83.04% 84.93% 88.04% 85.26%

    In addition to consistently scoring above the national average on the NCLEX-RN exit exam, GC Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates achieved recognition for having the highest pass rates of any USG baccalaureate program in 2010.


Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam

The School of Nursing (SoN) also tracks pass rates for graduate students enrolled in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program. These are tracked through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners certification exam.

School of Nursing Faculty set the benchmark for first time test-takers on the exam higher than the standard set by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc. (ACEN). Standard 6.4.2 states that 80% percent of first-time candidates for certification exams will pass the exams. Criterion stated in the School of Nursing Graduate Program Effectiveness Evaluation Plan requires that 90% of MSN graduates who seek certification pass the certification examination on initial attempt. The rationale for setting the benchmark greater than the ACEN standard is based on the high quality of students admitted to the FNP program and the exemplary record of success on the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners certification exam.

GC students have continually demonstrated achievement on the FNP Certification Exam at a 100% pass rate. This exceeds the benchmarks set by both the School of Nursing and ACEN.

Cohort  Graduating SemesterNumber of FNP graduatesNumber of FNP graduates successfully passing FNP certification exam on first attemptPass Rate
Spring 2015232087%
Spring 20142929100%
Spring 20131616100%
Spring 20121818100%
Spring 20111212100%
Spring 20101313100%


Athletic Training Certification Exam

The Athletic Training Program at GC utilizes the Board of Certification (BOC) Athletic Training Certification Examination as one measure of assessing student outcomes. This is the national examination for the certification of entry-level professionals. Athletic training programs accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) must maintain a 3 years aggregate first time pass rate of 70%, according to CAATE standards.

Historically, Athletic Training (AT) has had one of the lowest first-time exam pass rates of all healthcare professionals, with an average near 45%. Nationally, the first time pass rate was 43.3% for 2009-2010, but increased to 60.7% in 2010-2011 and 82.3% in 2011-2012. As a result of the dramatic increase nationally, CAATE added the 3-year aggregate of 70% first-time pass rate as an accreditation standard for all AT programs, effective Fall 2012. Nationally, the first-time pass rate was 81% for 2012-2013, which is slightly higher than the current accreditation standard.

For the most current three years, GC's pass rate has exceeded 70% and therefore has exceeded the target of an aggregate score of 70% across the three years (AYs 11-12, 12-13, and 13-14).

2011-2012 2012-20132013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 3 Year Aggregate
Number of students graduating from program 16 16 14 25 21 60
Number of students graduating from program who took examination 15 14 14 25 21 60
Number of students who passed the examination on the first attempt 12 12 14 21 19 54
Percentage of students who passed the examination on the first attempt 80 86 100 84 90 90
Number of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts 13 14 14 25 21 60
Percentage of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts 87 100 100 100 100 100