Southern Connecticut State University’s School of Nursing has earned the title of Best RN Program in Connecticut for 2024 by RegisteredNursing.org.
Outperforming the 22 RN programs in the state, Southern not only secured the top spot but also achieved an impressive 96.86 success rate in students passing the NCLEX-RN exam over five consecutive years, including three years of a perfect 100% pass-rate. The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is an exam used to determine if recently graduated nursing students are safe to practice.
The SCSU nursing program’s excellence has also been acknowledged on a national scale, securing a prominent position in Becker’s Hospital Review listing of the country’s leading programs.
Maria Krol, chair and associate professor of nursing, attributes the program’s sustained high performance to its adaptability in providing support to all students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The program has implemented various new measures to assist students, whether admitted directly as nursing majors or exploring alternative pathways to completion, in overcoming challenges and successfully navigating the rigorous curriculum.
“We were fortunate in our partnership with Yale New Haven Health Network to hire a grant-supported student support specialist last year,” said Krol. “Whether students need supplemental course guidance, support navigating work/life commitments, or someone to track their progress with, we have seen remarkable success with this position.”
According to Krol, 94.5% of junior-level nursing students have remained on track from the fall to spring semesters, thanks in part to the enhanced interventions. Staying on schedule is critical to keeping degree costs low for students and helping secure the state’s nursing shortage.
“We are in the midst of the nursing application cycle, and we have already received more applications, more qualified applicants, and more diverse applicants than ever before,” said Krol.
To keep the momentum going, faculty are busy developing new ways to identify and engage interested students earlier in the acceptance process, regardless of whether they enroll as traditional, part-time, or accelerated BSN, or as STEM Foundations for Nursing majors.
The School will host a Zoom presentation for accepted students in early March, followed by an in-person event in early April. All current and future students will also be invited to a regular speaker series, in which nursing leaders and practitioners from around the state will share their experiences, promote mentorship, and foster cultural diversity and belonging.
“We are doing everything we can to get students here and to help them achieve their goal of becoming a nurse,” said Krol. “And we are happy to see that hard work show in our student outcomes.”