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story.lead_photo.caption In this Feb. 7, 2018 photo, Angela Arechiga, right, waits while the blood pressure cuff is pumped up to take a reading on Sara Klein during Lincoln University Day at the Missouri Capitol. Students were on hand to represent LU's School of Nursing program. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Lincoln University's Nursing School is the state's third best among 53 programs, a group called announced Wednesday in its "3rd Annual State RN Program Rankings."

The organization said its survey gave the top two positions to schools offering only an associate's (two-year) nursing degree — State Fair Community College in Sedalia and Columbia College's Lake Ozark campus.

LU offers a two-year associate's degree and four-year bachelor's degree in nursing.

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"We are excited to be ranked as one the top nursing programs in the state," LU President Jerald Jones Woolfolk said in a news release. "With 50 years' experience educating nurses, we know that a nursing degree from Lincoln University is highly valued, and we are pleased to be recognized as such."

On its website, the organization explains: "We are registered nurses who care deeply about the profession and provide the resources future nurses need to succeed — helping to bring those interested in nursing from the research phase to enrollment to landing that first RN job and beyond." based its rankings on nursing school students' performances on the "NCLEX-RN" exam, which all states' nursing boards use as a licensure requirement.

"Schools' pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam," the website explains.

Missouri's 53 schools' rankings were based on NCLEX scores from 2014-18.

The calculation then produced a score, with State Fair's program scoring 97.05, Columbia College, 97.00, and LU, 96.80.

Other schools in the Missouri Top 10 are:

  • East Central College, Union, associate's degree — 96.70.
  • St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, North St. Louis County, associate's degree — 96.12.
  • Missouri State University, Springfield, bachelor's degree — 95.73.
  • Crowder College, Neosho, associate's degree — 95.28.
  • North Central Missouri College, Trenton, associate's degree— 95.15.
  • University of Missouri, Columbia (Sinclair School of Nursing), bachelor's degree — 94.78.
  • Truman State University, Kirksville, bachelor's degree — 94.41.

LU's news release notes the National Council of State Boards of Nursing reported a total of 200,448 aspiring nurses took the exam in 2018, with 76 percent passing.

LU noted all of its 2018 graduates passed the exam. All of the nursing school's 2017 graduates also passed the test.

LU's nursing school began in 1969 as a two-year program and, LU's news release notes, its nursing school graduates "have consistently been above the national average passing rate since the first graduating class in 1971."

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