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May 9, 2006

ULM School of Nursing graduates first accelerated class

As part of National Nurses Week (May 6-12), the University of Louisiana at Monroe's School of Nursing will honor its faculty and students while celebrating its first completed accelerated program of students.

The nine students in the accelerated program finished the professional syllabus in 15 months, compared to the normal required duration of five semesters.

The students met all conditions on March 31 and have already received the paperwork needed to take their Louisiana State Board of Nursing licensure exam. They will graduate from ULM in May.

Dr. Florencetta Gibson, director of the School of Nursing, said national trends tend to trickle down to the state and collegiate levels.

"There's a national nursing shortage, and accelerated programs are able to produce trained professionals in a shorter period of time and hopefully meet the situation head-on."

Due to funding cuts related to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, plans for a future accelerated program are on hold for an academic year, though Gibson remains optimistic for its eventual reinstatement.

"As we prepare for our 50th celebration in 2010, we're also looking at our goals so as to best meet the needs of our profession as well as those of the community," Gibson said.

In acknowledgement of outstanding numbers and achievement, School of Nursing will host a faculty reception, public appreciation of students during classes and other spotlighted honors for the faculty throughout National Nurses Week.

"We have a wonderful team - we really work together," said Gibson.

ULM's School of Nursing stays far above the curve with a current graduate pass rate of 91.78. By comparison, the state average for baccalaureate programs is 85.84. State registered nursing programs weigh in at 88.75.

The School of Nursing consistently maintains a high enrollment. Currently, 225 students are enrolled in the professional curriculum and over 850 students are in the pre-professional program. The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is in full approval from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing.

To access more information on ULM's School of Nursing, go to

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