The 2023 nursing graduates pose outside the Health Sciences Center (Photo by Rich Keen, Marketing and Communications Dept.).

Nursing Students Earn 100% Pass Rate on National Licensure Exam

Featured Photo: Blue Ridge Community College’s 2023 nursing graduates pose outside the Health Sciences Center in Hendersonville in April, 2023. (Photo by Rich Keen, Marketing and Communications Dept.).

Marketing & Communications Dept.

One hundred percent of Blue Ridge Community College’s most recent class of nursing graduates passed the national licensure exam, the College announced Monday. 

The pass rate underscores the excellent preparation given to graduates of Blue Ridge’s two-year Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program, who upon passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) are qualified to work as registered nurses and provide hands-on care in numerous health care settings, such as hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities and home care environments.

“Blue Ridge Community College and our local health care community have been cheering these accomplished nursing graduates on toward their career goals at every step,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, Blue Ridge’s president. “Our state’s community colleges work hard to provide the majority of our state’s nurses each year, and we’re incredibly proud of our nursing class of 2023 for their hard work and perfect pass rate.”

Nursing students participate in a spinal injury lab during the 2022-23 academic year.

Nursing students participate in a spinal injury lab during the 2022-23 academic year in the Health Sciences Center. (Keen)

Dr. Amy Szoka, Blue Ridge’s director of nursing, called the recent 2023 graduates “exceptional.” She explained that they performed well in their clinical activities, and earlier predictive exams indicated a 90%-or-greater probability of the graduates passing the exam on their first attempt. She also credited Blue Ridge’s faculty with excellent preparation of the students.

“The faculty did an excellent job of leading these students through the program by maintaining a high level of communication and providing consistent reinforcement of nursing concepts,” said Dr. Szoka. “The faculty love what they do, and the students clearly had the will and desire to become nursing professionals. It was a perfect match.”

This test performance continues an impressive streak for Blue Ridge’s nursing program, whose pass rates in 2022 and 2021 were 93.3% and 96%, respectively.

In response to local and regional workforce needs, Blue Ridge Community College announced a 20-seat expansion to the Associate Degree Nursing program in February that now serves 74 students each year. The program takes place in Hendersonville’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center and on Blue Ridge’s Transylvania County Campus.

According to data from the North Carolina Board of Nursing, about two-thirds of all pre-licensure nursing graduates in the state completed ADN and practical nursing programs – programs that are overwhelmingly provided by the North Carolina Community College System.

The College also plans to expand its healthcare offerings in the months to come to include three additional needed programs, Licensed Practical Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and a Central Sterile Processing apprenticeship.

Blue Ridge Community College is currently accepting applications for Fall 2024 admission to the Associate Degree Nursing Program. The application period is Oct. 1, 2023, to Feb. 1, 2024, for the Fall 2024 program start. Admissions criteria are available at