NEWBERRY, S.C. — The Newberry College Department of Nursing is advancing into a new era of growth and innovation, following a series of significant achievements over the past year.
This elevation in the reputation and status of the program comes on the heels of a congratulatory meeting with the South Carolina Board of Nursing, a highly successful departmental Open House, celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary and a swell of student interest in the growing program.
“I’m really excited about where we’re headed as a program,” said Dr. Susan Ludwick, chair of the Department of Nursing. “We enjoyed a great meeting with the state board of nursing recently. After reviewing how our average NCLEX-RN exam first-time pass rate has risen to 95 percent over the past year, above the state average, along with some of the changes we’ve made program-wide, I know we’re on the edge of something great.”
In addition to stellar pass rates, an exponential rise in student interest in the program has served as an indicator of success. Ludwick noted a sharp increase in the number of pre-nursing students over the last year – freshmen and sophomores who are completing nursing prerequisites and have yet to be admitted to the program.
“Our program is growing, and it's not only a sign of success, it's a key contributor," said Ludwick, who has chaired the department since January. "This growth is incredibly important to meet the increasing need for highly qualified nurses, and I am proud to say that Newberry is a leader in the field."
Ludwick cited strengthened program admission requirements, a partnership with ATI Nursing Education and plans for a new nursing education facility as key factors in program expansion and innovation.
As part of the Scaling the Summit campaign, the College projects a 12,000 square-foot health and nursing facility to be constructed at the corner of College and Evans streets. The new building, to feature state-of-the-art classrooms and clinical simulation labs, will help better prepare students for careers in an ever-innovating field.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our nursing students and faculty for all they’ve done to exceed expectations,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “With a new nursing building, we will be able to support the quality enrollment growth of the program and provide our students with the best possible learning environment.”
Since its launch in 2009, the Department of Nursing has expanded the program to educate a greater number of students. In 2017, Newberry launched the RN-to-BSN online degree completion program, which allows working registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in as few as 12 months.