UWO’s nursing program ranked 4th in state

Sophia Voight, Reporter

Current and potential nursing students of UW Oshkosh can feel assured they are getting a quality nursing education as UWO’s undergraduate nursing program ranks among the top nursing schools in the state, according to the “2019 List of the Best Nursing Schools in Wisconsin” on RegisteredNursing.org.

The national nursing advocacy organization ranked UWO’s bachelor of science in nursing program at No. 4 out of 40 analyzed accredited schools.

“Newly renovated space at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Nursing brings about state-of-the-art simulation labs, practice labs and nursing tech suites,” the organization’s ranking report stated. “Graduates are given all the tools and faculty support needed to be at the top of the field.”

The organization measures and ranks each nursing school based on its students’ performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, known as NCLEX.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing describes the NCLEX as “an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level registered nurse” and is an important step toward nursing licensure.

UWO’s College of Nursing has consistently performed high on the NCLEX with a passing rate of 96% in 2019, earning them the reputation of having one of the best nursing programs in the state.

“It’s certainly a sense of pride,” College of Nursing Dean and Associate Professor Judith Westphal said.
Westphal recognizes the nursing students’ high passing rates as a reason for the excellent success rate of CON’s graduates and the program’s positive reputation.

“I think what it really boils down to is because we’ve had such excellent NCLEX results, we attract the best and the brightest nursing students,” Westphal said.

Westphal commends the college’s curriculum, faculty and facilities for preparing the students for exams resulting in such high rates of success.

“We have faculty with experience in a wide breadth of knowledge, very dedicated to educating the nurses for the future,” Westphal said.

Westphal said the college’s faculty helps prepare students for high success rates, saying their extensive practice in the field allows them to bring empirical examples to the classroom, helping to increase the realism for the students.

“Students benefit from having instructors with expert backgrounds and lots of different kinds of areas of expertise,” Westphal said.

Outside of the lecture setting, Westphal said the wonderful equipment, labs and simulation centers used to supplement students’ understanding of nursing, help prepare students for experiences out in the workforce.
Westphal said CON also has over 200 contracts with clinical agencies that give nursing students various opportunities to apply their knowledge and give them an immersive experience during their clinicals.
“We try to make those as rich as possible to the College of Nursing,” Westphal said.

UWO’s BSN program provides many tools to prepare its students for the NCLEX and ultimately the field of nursing.
“Students know the program prepares them well to take the licensure examination, and that they will be successful,” Westphal said, “and they can easily move into the job market.”