Historically Black Dillard University in New Orleans has announced that it will suspend admissions to its bachelor’s degree nursing programs for the 2017-18 academic year. During this period, the university will conduct a full internal assessment of the nursing program. Students currently enrolled in Dillard’s nursing programs will not be affected. However, students enrolling at Dillard this fall will not be able to choose a nursing track after their first year.
The primary focus of the assessment will be to determine why students have had a low passage rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Only half of Dillard’s nursing students pass the examination, while the state Board of Nursing requires nursing schools to have a 80 percent passage rate. The university stated that it will review all aspects of the program including curriculum, staffing, and support mechanisms.
Yolanda M. Page, vice president for academic affairs at Dillard, said that “we owe it to our alumni and current students to ensure that the Dillard Legacy of excellence in nursing remains intact.”
Sharon Hutchinson, chair of the School of Nursing, added that the university “will continue to work closely with the Louisiana State Board of Nursing in getting the program back to the lofty status it has had historically.”
Dillard University was the first educational institution in Louisiana to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing and the nursing program has been a cornerstone of the academic offerings at the university. In 2015, nearly 17 percent of graduating students at Dillard earned degrees in nursing.