BSN Program Status Change Official – Press Release 1/20/17

Media Release: For Immediate Distribution

Patty Hanks Shelton Nursing Program Establishes Plan for Program Success

(Abilene, Texas) - The Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing (PHSSN) is pleased to announced that it has an established plan to ensure program success and improve its NCLEX-RN pass rate.

PHSSN’s NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) pass rate from October 2015 to September 2016, which is the Texas Board of Nursing’s examination year for professional nursing education programs, was 77.14 percent.

Subsequently, PHSSN administrators, faculty, and staff have developed a plan to re-establish and maintain a pass rate higher than the required minimum first-time pass rate of 80 percent following the Texas Board of Nursing’s decision to give its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program a status of “conditional approval.”

The change to “conditional approval” is a result of test scores lower than the required first-time pass rate of 80 percent on the NCLEX-RN.

The Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing program is not in danger of losing national accreditation and continues to be fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through June 30, 2019. The Texas Board of Nursing approval is separate from the national accreditation process.

The school has demonstrated significant improvement in several areas and will continue to make progress in program rigor, evaluation, and application of policy and procedures that ensure successful program progress.

“As we continue to work toward successful outcomes, it is important that we all remain positive and remember that all is possible through faith, resilience, love and prayer,” said Dr. Sheila Garland, interim dean of the PHSSN program.

Pre-nursing and undergraduate nursing students have been informed and will remain in close communication with faculty and staff throughout the process. PHSSN has 106 students, of those about 80 are Bachelor of Science in Nursing students.

The program will remain on “conditional approval” until it demonstrates a pass rate for first-time candidates of at least 80 percent on the 2017 NCLEX-RN examination. The Texas Board of Nursing will meet in October 2017 to review the pass rate for the May 2017 nursing class to determine if PHSSN meets the standard.

PHSSN remains fully accredited. The accreditation of the nursing school is not affected by the status change made by the Texas Board of Nursing on January 19.

Program partners and area nursing schools have been very supportive of the PHSSN during this process, according to Garland.

PHSSN is a consortium of Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University. It is the only intercollegiate program in the nation that serves two private universities. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN, Masters of Science in Nursing including two tracks – Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education, and the Post-Master’s Certificate).

The school dates back to 1979 when the Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing (AISN) was established as an educational consortium consisting of Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene Christian University (ACU), and McMurry University. AISN changed its name to the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing in 2004, and ACU separated from the consortium in May 2014.