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PSU Nursing program reaches milestone

Pitt State’s Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing reached a milestone as 100 percent of its students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) program successfully passed the Family Nurse Practitioners National Board Certification. Eight students from the program’s first cohort took the exam in the 2018 Fall semester, and all passed. 

“It confirms what we already knew, which is that we deliver a quality program and for many years our master’s program… has been very successful,” said Cheryl Giefer, director of the School of Nursing.  

The BSN to DNP program is a new program at the Irene Ransom Bradley school of nursing, with its first cohort beginning in 2016. There are currently 60 students in the BSN to DNP program total, and the eight students were of 14 that were in the first cohort of the program that decided to study full time and will graduate this upcoming May.  

The Family Nurse Practitioners National Board Certification allows those who pass to practice in all 50 states and in many foreign countries.  

Not only did one hundred percent of the students pass, but they passed with high-ranking scores. According to Giefer, their average score was 648 out of the required 500 to pass. 

“…we were so thrilled to get the official results a couple of weeks ago, and to find out that not only they all passed on the first time, but that they, as a group, scored higher on every measure than the national average,” said Karen Johnson, assistant professor and graduate coordinator in the School of Nursing. 

Stormy Carter is in her final semester of the BSN to DNP program and said that it feels “amazing” to have successfully passed the exam. 

“… Especially to be at the tail end of the program and to say that all eight of us in the first cohort have successfully completed on the first try,” said Carter. 

To prepare for the exam, the students had intensive review. 

“We all studied individually, the School of Nursing actually prepared us with board review,” Carter said. “… We took an online board review over (Winter Break) in 2017, then in May of 2018 we took a live review, so right before the semester before we took the exam.” 

Carter said that in preparation, all the students would communicate and share resources they found helpful to study. Carter felt that the program “did an excellent job in preparing us for the examination” and that she owes much of her success to the program. 

“The program is excellent, they did an excellent job in preparing us,” Carter said. “The instructors were willing to work so closely with the students, if we had any questions or any concerns, we were able to email them or call them anytime, day or night, and they would get back to us… very quickly.” 

Both Giefer and Johnson also noted that they also thought the faculty is a huge part in what makes the program successful. 

“I believe it’s the faculty, the individual attention every student receives. Every student in our program gets to know our faculty very well,” Giefer said. “I think it’s just the personal touch you get at Pittsburg State University, which is very, very different from other ‘higher ed’ programs.” 

Carter also said she was thankful for support from outside sources, during her time in the program. 

“Just having great support, just with the student body all eight of us,” Carter said. “And then family support and motivation and drive. You got to have all of the above.” 

Johnson said she wishes all those who passed the exam and will graduate in May success. 

“I hope that they continue to have the success that have had as registered nurses and as nurse practitioners too,” she said. “I hope, and our goal, is that they continue to provide high-quality safe patient care, and now they’re able to do that at the next level.” 

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