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For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2014

Contact: Kevin Nash

University of Maryland School of Nursing Awarded Project Hope Grant from Who Will Care?

Grant aims to improve first-time pass rate of National Council Licensure Exam for ESL students.

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) has been awarded an 18-month, $200,000 grant through the Who Will Care? Project Hope initiative. It is designed to increase retention, graduation, and first-time pass rates on the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) of students for whom English is a second language (ESL).

Project Hope is an enhanced support program to increase the academic performance of pre-licensure ESL students in Adult Health Nursing, UMSON’s key medical/surgical course. An institutional study found that there is a link between first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates of ESL students and their ability to excel in Adult Health Nursing. The study also revealed that ESL students scored significantly lower in the course than their native English-speaking classmates. Adult Health Nursing has proven to be a solid indicator of likely retention, graduation, and first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) master’s option.

Over the past five years, UMSON boasted high first-time pass rates of the NCLEX-RN, as 91.5 percent of BSN students and 92.7 percent of CNL students passed on the first try, respectively. However, 75 percent of UMSON students who did not pass on the first attempt were ESL students.

“This grant supports our efforts to enhance the learning of UMSON students for whom English is not their first language,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Increasing the retention, graduation, and first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates of ESL students will help grow the number of ESL nurses entering into practice, which will help diversify the health care workforce.”

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked eleventh nationally. Enrolling 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.

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