FAMU School of Nursing placed on probation by state board

Shelley Johnson

By Andrew J. Skerritt
FAMU Office of Communications

Due to first-time licensure pass rates over the past two years, the Florida A&M University School of Nursing has been placed on probation for two years by the Florida Board of Nursing. 

Dean Shelley Johnson said the pre-licensure program will be reevaluated again in January 2022 to determine if probation will continue for the second year. Johnson took over as dean of the School of Nursing last July.

 In response, administrators submitted a detailed plan of action to improve the first-time pass rate for all graduates of the program. While improvements were integrated in fall 2020, additional evidence-based improvements will be applied over the coming months to strengthen teaching and learning outcomes, Johnson said. Changes will be communicated via town hall meetings, handbook updates, the School of Nursing website and course syllabi. 

Johnson said the changes are already paying dividends. 

“The data shows we are trending upward and our preliminary interventions are working,” said Johnson, who was hired to revitalize the nursing program. “If you compare the first quarter data in 2020 to the first quarter data in 2021, you will see that there has been approximately a 20-percentage point increase from December 2019 graduates, which was 57 percent, to the December 2020 graduates, which was 76 percent. 

“This increase occurred with only partial remediation measures applied.”  

 Meanwhile, the School of Nursing remains accredited. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Board of Commissioners granted continuing accreditation for good cause for two years to the FAMU baccalaureate nursing program.

In 2019, FAMU nursing students had a first-time National Council Licensure Examination Pass Rate of 63.44 percent, followed by a 66.67 percent pass rate in 2020. The Florida Board of Nursing requires that nursing programs meet the national average NCLEX first-time pass rate, which is approximately 91 percent. 

Based on the past two years’ first-time NCLEX Pass Rates, FAMU School of Nursing has been placed on probation for this year, Johnson said.  

 “Our goal for 2021 is to reach the first-time NCLEX pass rate of 90 percent,” Johnson said in a letter to students. “We will work together to assist you in passing the comprehensive predictor, reaching complete readiness for NCLEX success and passing the NCLEX on the first attempt.” 

Founded in 1904 as a hospital-based program, the nursing school is the oldest continuing baccalaureate nursing program in Florida. It’s also the oldest continuing baccalaureate nursing program at a Historically Black College or University. 

“FAMU plans to maintain its legacy and continue to serve our community through the provision of high-quality nursing education and aiding society in the creating of nurses who serve vulnerable populations across the nation,” Johnson said. 


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