Release Date: 
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

HFC nursing grads beat national average on licensing exam

Smiling nursing student

HFC nursing graduates’ first-time pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) from January through June of this year is 93 percent.

Of the 112 exams taken, 104 HFC nursing students passed on the first try, said Dr. Susan Shunkwiler, dean of the HFC School of Health and Human Services. This surpasses the national pass rate for all nursing programs, including diploma programs (89 percent), associate degree programs (87 percent), and baccalaureate degree programs (92 percent).

Changing with the times

The NCLEX-RN exam ensures that entry-level nurses are competent in their field. Students take this exam upon completion of the nursing program. Since the practice of nursing changes over time, the standards for the NCLEX-RN have been increased to accommodate necessary changes.

HFC nursing faculty responded to these changes by designing a comprehensive, holistic approach to nursing education called CHAMPS (Curriculum; Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam; Admission; Mentoring; Powerful Simulation.


The CHAMPS program has included a curriculum re-design that was dynamic, student-centered, and included active learning strategies. Nursing faculty integrated the standardized HESI exam into the course so that students could practice taking standardized tests and would feel more prepared and confident when taking the NCLEX-RN.

The admission process was changed to a competitive admission so qualified students would not have to wait 1-2 years to gain admittance into the program. A mentoring program was created and designed to give students the extra support they need from faculty, peers, and their families.

Finally, simulation was incorporated into all clinical courses so that students could practice critical thinking and clinical reasoning in a safe environment where they received immediate feedback and individualized learning. The CHAMPS program has proven successful, said Shunkwiler, and the results are showing in NCLEX passage rates.

“It is such an honor to work with such amazing faculty, staff, and students,” said Shunkwiler. “A heartfelt congratulations to everyone on this amazing accomplishment!”

Learn more about the Nursing program at Henry Ford College, and apply for the next semester.