Northwestern nursing grads again record 100% board exam pass rate

For the second year in a row, Northwestern College’s latest nursing graduates have recorded a 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN board exam. All 14 of the 2021 nursing alumni who took the exam passed it on their first attempt.

“The pass rate is the benchmark for analyzing a nursing program’s quality,” says Dr. Julie Dragstra, assistant professor and nursing department chair at Northwestern. “For our 2021 and 2020 graduates to record a 100% first-time pass rate speaks to the high quality of Northwestern’s BSN program. It shows that our graduates are well prepared to meet today’s health care needs and the challenges their patients will face.”

Dragstra cites several factors for the Northwestern nursing students’ success. “Our faculty are really knowledgeable, and they challenge students to think critically rather than to just memorize content. They create a very positive learning environment and do a great job of helping students make connections between theory and actual practice. Each student is paired with a faculty adviser when they start and is supported throughout the educational process. They benefit from our great facility—but also from a lot of hands-on opportunities through clinical experiences and community service.”

Northwestern’s 2021 nursing graduates have been hired by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City; MercyOne Medical Center and UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, Iowa; St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas; Orange City Area Health System; and Spencer [Iowa] Hospital, among others. The alumni are working in medical-surgical, ICU, neuro-trauma ICU, pediatric cardiology, oncology and tele-med units.

Northwestern’s nursing program has been ranked among the nation’s top 20 percent by Northwestern offers a traditional undergraduate BSN degree in addition to an RN-to-BSN online option, both of which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. The college’s nursing arts laboratory, located in the state-of-the-art DeWitt Family Science Center, includes high-fidelity simulators and patient rooms, a flexible learning space with eight bays, IV training arms and other equipment, a hospital-based computerized medication system, and an electronic health record simulation program.