Allen College Graduates Excel in Passing Nurse Practitioner Certification Exams

April 26, 2013

WATERLOO, Iowa — Allen College Chancellor Dr. Jerry Durham announced today that the College’s graduates who sat for a national nurse practitioner certification examination in 2012 had a total pass rate of 97.4% the first time they took the examination.   Durham said that 38 of 39 graduates passed the examination on first attempt and the remaining graduate passed the examination on second attempt.  Graduates took an examination offered by either the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Inc. (ANCC).  An advanced level certification by a national professional nursing certifying body, recognized by the Iowa Board of Nursing, is required for registration as an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP).  According to Durham, national average pass rates vary from 80-95%, depending on the examination and certifying organization.  He attributed Allen’s high pass rate to a rigorous curriculum, expert faculty and experienced preceptors, highly qualified students, and activities that prepare graduates to pass the examination.

Allen College offers four nurse practitioner programs in its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program:  family, adult/gerontological primary care, family psychiatric mental health, and adult/gerontological acute care.  More than 180 students are enrolled in Allen’s MSN program.  Allen also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice program that admits students holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. 

According to Allen College nursing dean Dr. Kendra Williams-Perez, Allen plans to continue its MSN program as an educational pathway for students seeking careers as nurse practitioners.  She noted that some other nursing schools in Iowa, including the University of Iowa, now require nurses wanting to become nurse practitioners to earn the doctorate before becoming eligible for certification and licensure as nurse practitioners.  While the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has proposed that the doctorate be required for advanced practice nurses--nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists--certifying organizations and boards of nursing have not taken steps to implement that recommendation

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