Fall 2017 graduates of the Florida A&M University School of Nursing achieved an 86.49 percent first-try passage rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for the first quarter of 2018.
37 FAMU students sat for the exam for the January 1-March 31, 2018 testing period and 32 passed.
The national passage rate for first-time, U.S.-educated test takers in the first quarter was 89.25 percent.
The Florida A&M University
(FAMU) School of Nursing has launched new efforts to increase opportunities to
prepare students to work as health care professionals in rural and underserved
Partnerships Enhance Advanced Learning (APPEAL) project is supported by a new
two-year, $1.3 million grant received by the Health Resources and Services
Administration (HRSA) this summer.
The School of Nursing hosted its 80th Anniversary
Celebration during the weekend of June 16-17. The events included a welcome
reception, the Rattler Nurses’ Breakfast and a commemorative banquet.
The FAMU School of Nursing is the oldest continuing
baccalaureate nursing program in Florida, as well as the oldest program of its
kind among historically Black colleges and universities. The illustrious school
continues to make progress as it kicked off 2017 with its first male dean in
the school’s history — Henry C. Talley, Ph.D.
Along with celebrating 80 years of success, the school was
recently ranked among the nation’s “Top 20 Best Value Nursing Programs” by
BestValueSchools.com. It was also listed as one of the top 25 schools in the
Eastern region by the Nursing Journal.
In attendance was Helen Heathington, a 1949 alumna, one of
the school’s oldest living graduates, who celebrated FAMU as a place “where you
can become the most well-rounded nurse it is possible to be.”
Speakers for the weekend included the National League for
Nursing Academy of Nursing Education inductee Georgie Labadie, a 1957 graduate,
and Dionne Williams, a 2015 graduate, pursuing a nursing research doctorate
through a partnership with FAMU and Case Western Reserve University.
Alexis L. Ritchie has been honored as the recipient of the
first annual Windsor D. Ferguson Memorial Award at Florida Agricultural and
Mechanical University (FAMU).
The award was established by the children of Bishop Windsor
D. Ferguson, Sr. at their respective historically black college or university
(HBCU) alma maters to celebrate students from Broward County, Florida who
uphold the educational values their father supported.
A treasured Rattler was celebrated during a memorial service
in the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Lee Hall
Auditorium Jan. 3.
Margaret Lewis, a retired dean of the FAMU School of Nursing
was remembered as a no nonsense administrator, who led the school to
unprecedented heights. During her many years of service to FAMU Lewis worked as
a staff nurse at the FAMU Hospital and in various professor positions. A U.S.
Army veteran, Lewis enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps in 1953 and served as a
finance officer in Japan before being honorably discharged.
While addressing the audience, University Interim President
Larry Robinson said he learned a great deal from Lewis throughout the course of
his tenure at FAMU.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) Interim Provost Rodner
Wright has announced Henry Clinton Talley V, Ph.D., as the new dean of the
School of Nursing.
Talley succeeds retiring dean Ruena Norman, Ph.D. His tenure
began Tuesday, January 17, 2017, and marks the first time a man has served in
the capacity. He was selected following a national search conducted in
partnership with Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.
A retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army
Reserve Nurse Corps, Talley previously served as the founding director of the
Michigan State University Nurse Anesthesia Program, and chief anesthetist and
operations director of anesthesiology service at the VA Medical Center in
The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU)
School of Nursing’s fall semester is off to an excellent start. Not only did
its graduate program recently receive the maximum eight-year reaccreditation
from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), but the
school has also been ranked among the top 20 best value nursing programs in the
U.S. by BestValueSchools.com, and among the top 25 (No. 21 out of 1,189
entries) nursing programs in the eastern region by The Nursing Journal.
The BestValueSchools.com ranking system was created using
the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database to
identify the most affordable competitive institutions offering undergraduate
nursing degrees. The site also applauded FAMU for its ideal location and giving
nursing majors easy access to fieldwork in large hospitals, small community
clinics, and other facilities.
This legislative session, Sen. Durell Peaden (R-Crestview) secured the remaining money required to open FAMU's Crestview Education Center.
Peaden, who previously netted $2.5M for the project, recently steered another $8.5M into FAMU’s budget to cover the costs.
$7M of the new appropriation consists of noncurring funds that will go toward renovating Crestview’s Alatex building for FAMU’s use. The 40,000-square foot, two-story brick building was constructed in 1937. At first, it was home to the Smith-Johnson garment company and the local City Hall. Smith-Johnson left after a couple of years and was replaced by the Alatex Textile Company, which remained until the 1980s. Then, Rainbow Apparel moved in and ran the facility until the mid-1990s.
The remaining $1.5M is recurring money designated for hiring faculty and staff for the center.
Crestview’s city council is in the process of removing asbestos and other contaminants from the building. Once the cleanup is complete, the building’s title will be transferred to FAMU.
FAMU's Crestview Education Center will be an interdisciplinary campus. According to the authorizing legislation, the center will offer "instructional programs leading to the PharmD; B.S. or M.S. nursing; master of public health and doctorate of public health; and health care management, health administration, occupational therapy, and physical therapy."
The legislation adds that "it is the intent of the Legislature that students trained at this facility be provided the opportunity to receive field experience in county health departments, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, clinics, and local pharmacies. Such training shall focus on preparing students for health care careers in rural and underserved areas."
The Crestview center will be FAMU Pharmacy’s first degree-granting satellite location. The pharmacy school’s campuses in Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa do not offer full degrees. They are used as clinical training divisions for advanced students.
The University of Florida already currently operates four-year pharmacy degree satellites in three cities: Jacksonville, Orlando, and St. Petersburg. A brand new pharmacy school is also slated to be opened at the University of South Florida Polytechnic at Lakeland.
Florida A & M University will receive $1,222,968 in federal stimulus funds to train additional of healthcare professionals.
The money will be used for scholarships specifically for disadvantaged students. Some of the areas FAMU intends to address are public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, toxicology, nutrition, or maternal and child health.
"This federal funding is great news for FAMU and North Florida," said Congressman Allen Boyd. "Health and education are our nation's greatest capital assets, and this funding will help us to continue to provide quality healthcare and education for the area's residents. There is no doubt that many students and families in North Florida will benefit from these stimulus dollars."
These funds have been made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The University of Phoenix, which recently dethroned FAMU as the top producer of blacks with baccalaureates, is stepping up its efforts to compete with FAMU and other Florida universities.
Last week, Phoenix announced a partnership with the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund to provide access to nursing education and help ensure the future of quality healthcare. Through this partnership, two full-tuition scholarships will be offered to nurses pursuing advanced degrees in the state of Florida.
Odessa Chambliss was the mother of Lucille O'Neal and grandmother of Shaquille O'Neal and Ayesha Harrison - both University of Phoenix graduates. The Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund was established in 1998, after her death, to honor her commitment to the nursing profession for over 16 years.
Phoenix has offered nursing programs for 25 years. It established a ground presence in Florida more than a decade ago. Since the opening of the first campus in Orlando, the University has expanded to include 17 locations statewide including its four main Florida campuses and affiliated learning and resource centers. With a variety of degree programs, University of Phoenix-Florida currently serves more than 18,000 students. The state's four campuses include Central Florida, North Florida, South Florida and West Florida.
FAMU’s administration has pinpointed distance education as one of priority areas in its strategic initiatives. Phoenix’s increasing presence as major FAMU competitor shows that the university needs to kick those planning and implementation processes into high gear.
With Florida’s current nursing shortage, admissions slots at FAMU’s School of Nursing are in heavy demand.
According to the Florida Center for Nursing, 12,563 (or 44 percent) of qualified applicants were turned away from Florida’s public and private nursing schools last year. The center projects that the state’s nursing shortage could swell to 18,419 by 2010 and 52,209 by 2020 if this trend continues. Nursing schools reported that their lack of money to hire new faculty and small number of clinical training sites forced them to reject many potential students.
State University System budget cuts are making the situation worse. The University of Florida recently announced that it may eliminate its undergraduate nursing program altogether.
If UF enacts that proposal, even more applicants could seek bachelor of nursing degrees from FAMU. Such an increase would be welcome as FAMU sets its sights on an enrollment of 15,000 by 2010.
FAMU’s nursing school has a strong national reputation. For the past two years, its students scored a 100 percent passing rate on the national licensure examination.
Within the SUS, Florida Gulf Coast University is already expanding its baccalaureate nursing program. Nova Southeastern University is also teaching nursing at its new center in Fort Myers. Edison State College has committed to build a new nursing school.
The tradition of excellence continues at FAMU’s School of Nursing. Once again, nursing students earned a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.
“I am extremely happy,” said Ruena Norman, interim nursing dean. “The results represent the hard work of our students and faculty.”
Ever since Norman replaced former Dean Mary Ella Graham, student test scores have risen. Students boasted a 100 percent passage rate last year, as well.
The test results come as good news following months of internal controversy that attracted state headlines. Just over a year ago, a nursing student submitted a complaint to the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
Among the allegations were that the school’s comprehensive exam was unfair. Students received two chances to achieve 75 percent on the exam, which was designed to predict success on the national licensure test, before being kicked out of the FAMU nursing program. None of Florida’s other public universities required students to pass such a faculty-created exit test as a prerequisite for graduation. NLNAC ultimately rejected the complaint, ruling that FAMU nursing was in compliance with all accreditation standards and criteria.
In December, FAMU’s nursing students took a revamped comprehensive exam. Unlike the previous version, the new test was computerized, standardized, and developed in conjunction with an outside company. This year’s perfect licensure passage rate proves that the changes served as an asset to FAMU nursing’s quality instruction.
“I applaud and commend the outstanding job of our nursing students,” Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris said. “This accomplishment demonstrates the hard work and the commitment of our faculty and the quality our students.”
Capital Health Plan (CHP) announced it will invest $500,000 in the FAMU nursing program at over the next 5 years. The initiative is aimed at alleviating a growing nursing shortage in this area and throughout Florida.
Demand for new nurses in Florida is expected to grow by nearly one quarter or more than 36,000 new jobs by 2014.
“Capital Health Plan is proud to invest in nursing education,” said Dr. Nancy Van Vessem,, CHP’s Chief Medical Officer, speaking at a news conference held on National Nurses Day. “Today’s nursing students are the professionals who’ll care for CHP members and the community for years to come.”
The State of Florida might match the grant by 50 percent, potentially increasing the total investment to $750,000.
“The cost of college is a barrier that many of our students face,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “With CHP’s generous investment, we will break down that barrier for local students who are interested in nursing. We believe that these students are likely to stay and fill the need for nurses in the capital region.”
M. Elizabeth Carnegie, 91, a ground-breaking nurse and educator who championed the cause of African American nurses, died of hypertensive cardiovascular disease Feb. 20 at her home in Chevy Chase, MD. Carnegie served as professor and dean of FAMU's School of Nursing from 1945 to 1953 .
At a time when black nurses at some hospitals were not allowed to identify themselves as "Miss," only "Nurse," Dr. Carnegie insisted on the proper honorific. She refused to ride in hotel freight elevators while attending state nursing meetings in Florida and broke the color barrier as the first black nurse appointed to the board of the Florida Nurses Association. Her academic colleagues so feared for her safety that they prayed for her return every time she went on the road.
The appointment had its drawbacks; she was told she could not speak or vote at its meetings. She refused the honor until 1949, when she was officially elected as a legitimate, not just courtesy, member of the board.
The FAMU School of Nursing has received a $150,000 state grant which will allow it to admit 20 additional undergraduate students without negatively impacting its current program. The grant called the SUCCEED project were designated by the state to help Florida produce more minority nurses.
The SON intends to use of clinical simulations, web-enhanced instructional delivery and a comprehensive multifaceted retention/remediation program to accomplish its goal.
National projections predict a need for more than 1.2 million new and replacement registered nurses within the next six years.
“The need to increase the workforce in Florida is acute and poses a direct threat to the quality of services provided in its medical or healthcare systems.” said Delores Lawson, associate professor and coordinator of undergraduate programs, at the SON.
Rattler Nation has learned that the new year will bring new leadership at the FAMU School of Nursing as Dean Mary Ella Graham has been replaced by Ruena O. Norman. Dr. Norman is a former Associate Dean of the SoN. Ironically, Dr. Norman was demoted by Dr. Graham.
Graham was appointed Dean by former interim president Castell Bryant, on June 27, 2006. Graham's appointment came as a result of a "national search" by the Hollins Group that included four local candidates. Graham had previously served as dean and professor of nursing at Tennessee State University.
Mrs. Graham's tenure has been marked by controversy, her leadership style has been described by nursing faculty as "divisive and ineffective."