With state board exams more challenging every year, college nursing programs are finding innovative ways to help students. They're now pre-testing for the state's exam so students are better prepared.
"About five years ago we started a new testing system and we tested our students at the end of the first year of the curriculum," says Alice Nied, RN, MSN, HCC Assoc. Dean, Natural Science and Health Program.
Highland's community college has something to be proud of. Last year their practical and professional nursing graduates all passed the state's board exam with flying colors. Faculty members say the reason for this achievement is developing strategies so students can get hands on testing experience.
"Part of what the test does is for some students the key may not be the test questions, but the mechanics of the test. Because the state boards are no longer paper and pencil, they're on computer. This test is designed like the state board exam," says Nied.
This year’s students are stepping up to the challenge. The average passing rate for Highland nursing students is close to 95 percent in the last five years.
"I feel as though the HESSI test did a very good job of questioning our skills that I have learned so far. It does give us an insight to what we have learned so far," says nursing student Jaime Meier.
More than 1,000 nurses have graduated from Highland's nursing programs.