Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Brigid Lusk
Brigid Lusk

To obtain print-quality JPEGs, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (815) 753-1681 or e-mail

News Release

Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-9472

May 23, 2006

December NIU School of Nursing grads
sweep state board exams

DeKalb — Every December graduate from the Northern Illinois University School of Nursing passed the state board exams.

Scores in the 100th percentile on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX) mean NIU performed better than or as well as Illinois' 34 nursing programs with graduates in the fall semester of 2005 and the nation's 750 programs with fall semester graduates.

Comparatively, the pass rate is 86 percent for all nursing programs in Illinois and for all U.S. programs. Nursing school graduates must pass the comprehensive four-hour test to officially become registered nurses and practice anywhere in the country.

Brigid Lusk, the new chair of the NIU School of Nursing who has guided the College of Health and Human Sciences school for the last two years in an acting capacity, said “everyone is celebrating” the unprecedented accomplishment.

“It's an indication that our program is very strong. We are educating our students in exactly what they need to become safe, experienced practitioners,” Lusk said. “Our program is timely, and our great faculty are producing some excellent graduates. We're quite rigorous, and our students appreciate that they need to work very hard to succeed in this program.”

More than 1,000 students apply each year for only 140 seats, she said, and this good news is likely to draw more applications. “It's a joy to accept the crème de la crème,” Lusk said.

NIU also offers its students preparation programs for NCLEX, including tests to determine their probability of passing the boards and help with studying.

The NIU School of Nursing has offered an exciting, vibrant nursing education since 1959. Graduates are skilled in applying knowledge of the physical and social sciences as integral aspects of nursing, and are ready to enter master's degree programs, including those at NIU.

In recent years, the school has formed several partnerships with hospitals and community colleges across northern Illinois to offer an RN-to-BS completion program. Designed with respect for knowledge already attained and understanding of the real world of working RNs, the program prepares professional nurses for leadership roles in patient care across the spectrum of health care agencies and settings.

For more information, call (815) 753-1231.

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