Dillard University, the historically Black educational institution in New Orleans, announced that it has received initial approval to implement its restructured pre-licensure baccalaureate nursing programs for the spring semester of 2018-2019 academic year.
In the spring of 2016, the university announced that it would suspend admissions to its bachelor’s degree nursing programs for the 2017-18 academic year. At that time, only half of Dillard’s nursing students passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, while the state Board of Nursing requires nursing schools to have a 80 percent passage rate.
The moratorium on new admissions to the university’s nursing programs gave the school time to retool curriculum, evaluate staffing needs, enhance student support and revisit entrance standards to meet current best practices in nursing education.
“It was a difficult decision to inactivate admissions, but it was the only decision that made sense,” said Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University. “The entire Dillard community is proud of what we have accomplished, but we are even more encouraged about what our restructured nursing program offers to the next generation of nurses.”
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. Since 1945, the School of Nursing has produced approximately 1,200 bachelor of nursing graduates.
Currently there are 36 students enrolled in the university’s bachelor’s degree nursing programs. The goal is to attract top achieving students from across the country and keep yearly cohorts small, giving students a rigorous and tailored educational experience.