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Advanced Practice Nursing Students in FNP Program Earn Perfect First-Time Pass Rate on National Exam

by Janelle Hill Mar 19, 2021

Pictured above (left to right) are Jessica Buzinski, Darney Kezengwa, Winona Shively, Jazmine Irizarry, and Christina Sgarlata, along with Dr. Nichole Hartman and Dr. Laura Baylor in Tanzania.

Another one of DeSales’ healthcare programs has earned big bragging rights. 

The Family/Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Class of 2020 has achieved a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the national certification exam. 

What’s more—the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GACNP), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) programs also are well on their way to a perfect first-time pass rate. 

According to Dr. Carol Gullo Mest, chair of the graduate nursing programs, every student who has taken the certification exam in those programs has passed, and only a handful are still waiting to test. Students need to pass the exam to practice as an advanced practitioner. 

Gullo Mest attributes the students’ success to the faculty, clinical experiences, preceptors, on-campus and virtual simulation activities, and the incorporation of Telehealth. She also praises students for their commitment during a challenging year of COVID-19. 

“Clinical placements were non-existent for three months,” she says. “Add on top of that the fact that every single one of my students is a practicing nurse. The stressors that they had—not only at work but also at home—must have been critical challenges to these students. It was an absolute nightmare for them, and I give them so much respect for having accomplished what they did.” 

The Doctor of Physical Therapy’s Class of 2020 also achieved a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), while the Accelerated BSN Class of 2020 achieved a perfect pass rate on the NCLEX-RN.