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WVU Tech nursing program poised for success

West Virginia University Institute of Technology wordmark

WVU Tech’s nursing program is growing, and recent successes among graduates are making the program even more attractive to students who want to go into the field.  

The most recent graduating cohort achieved a 100% passage rate on the NCLEX, a national standard examination all nursing students must complete before they become professionally licensed registered nurses. It’s the professional starting point for nurses, and a perfect passage rate means that WVU Tech nursing graduates are positioned for a very good start.

WVU Tech Campus Provost Dr. Nigel Clark said that the achievement is a high mark for the program.

“Passing the exam requires a combination of innate ability in our students and the relevant education provided by the program, so these results mean we’ve got both. Good NCLEX results mean we have high quality students, and that helps us to attract other high quality students,” he said. 

For Dr. Crystal Sheaves, chair of the WVU Tech Department of Nursing, the passage rate is a sign of great things to come. WVU Tech’s program is a division of the WVU School of Nursing in Morgantown, so students study the same curriculum. It’s also growing.

“We have more students in the fall cohort than we have had in some time,” she said. “This 100% pass rate is great for us because, in order for us to grow, we have to demonstrate that we're a quality program. The fact that we've shown that puts us in a good position to continue growing and expanding our nursing educational opportunities here in the Beckley area.”

Sheaves said that the nation as a whole is experiencing a lack of what she calls “bedside nurses” in the industry, so growth in the department and renewed interest in the profession is well-timed.

“There is a shortage of bachelor's-prepared RNs in particular. There's also a shortage of nursing faculty across the country. Nursing is very diverse, and not everybody works in a hospital, so it can be hard to keep bedside nurses in the hospital,” she said.

She said that the program is already working with regional hospitals with an interest in recruiting nursing staff.

One way the WVU Tech program plans to prepare the next crop of graduates is with training experiences that feel like the real thing. The program employs a variety of high-tech tools and medical devices to create an environment that mimics a true hospital setting.

“We recently upgraded with some high-fidelity mannequins so we can simulate an actual hospital experience where the patient is having a cardiac or respiratory arrest. We have cameras installed so that we can put the students in a simulated scenario. We can debrief them in the classroom and let them watch themselves on the videos to see how they did. It's a very effective teaching tool,” she said.

That attention to detail and quality, said Sheaves, is what makes WVU Tech’s nursing program stand out. 

Beyond the academic and experiential learning, there’s also a focus on the human touch. For Clark, it’s one of the hallmarks of a WVU Tech program graduate.

“Tech instills in its graduates an unusually strong commitment to society and a powerful spirit of compassion for patients and patient care,” he said.

Visit the nursing program website to find out more about the program.