(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Preparing to graduate its second class next month, the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing reached another milestone Thursday (April 22) with a change in approval status of its undergraduate degree program from “initial” to “full” by the Texas Board of Nursing.

TBON member and Dean Dr. Wilkerson

Texas Board of Nursing member Beverley Nutall, left, and CON Dean Dr. Sharon Wilkerson

Full approval for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree program was based on the preliminary 2010 National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) pass rate of 100 percent for the first graduating class in December and recent accreditation by the Accrediting Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

“Today’s unanimous vote for full approval from the Texas Board of Nursing is the culmination of two years work and represents the end of the first chapter in the College of Nursing’s history,” said Sharon A. Wilkerson, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the HSC-College of Nursing. “While extremely proud of this accomplishment, we are already looking forward to new challenges.”

Among these challenges are development and implementation of a graduate program, expansion into additional regions of Texas to accommodate demand, and growth of programmatic areas to more fully integrate into the community, Dr. Wilkerson said.

Beverley Nutall, a licensed vocational nurse at the University Pediatric Association in College Station and Texas Board of Nursing member, made the motion for approval, citing the HSC-College of Nursing as a “model program.”

“We are very proud that the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing is one of the model programs in the state of Texas,” Nutall said. “We want to congratulate Dr. Wilkerson and the nursing faculty for a job well done.”

Opened in July 2008, the HSC-College of Nursing offers three different tracks for the baccalaureate degree. The first 19 graduates in the accelerated program received their degrees in December, and the first graduates of the generic B.S.N. program will receive their degrees May 21.

— Marketing & Communications