Wingate’s nursing program has been named the fourth best in North Carolina by RegisteredNursing.org. The highest-ranking independent university on the list, Wingate scored higher than many larger, well-known schools, such as East Carolina (No. 8), Duke (No. 9) and UNC Chapel Hill (No. 15).
The nurse-advocacy organization lauded Wingate’s “intimate environment.” Wingate admits just 40 students at a time, and the nursing faculty pride themselves on really knowing their students.
“The small class size, along with classroom and clinical instruction, lends itself to having a close relationship with each student,” says Dr. Kristen Barbee, program director. “That’s just one of the things that makes our faculty, and our program, special. We really are a family.”
Senior nursing student Jerome Overton appreciates the personal attention he receives in the program. “They help me isolate the things that I need more knowledge on and work with me to improve,” he says.
At Wingate, Overton has discovered his passion for working in ICU and ER settings.
“The workload and teaching at Wingate have really given me a desire to work in that emergency environment and have given me the tools to reach that far,” he says. “The bachelor’s degree that Wingate University offers gives you a deeper knowledge of diseases, how they affect the person, and what nurses do about it.”
RegisteredNursing.org analyzed data from 82 North Carolina nursing programs and awarded only the top 30 a spot on its Best Nursing Schools list. Rankings were based on pass rates on the NCLEX, the national licensing exam for registered nurses, between 2016 and 2020, with more recent years given more consideration.
The success of Wingate’s program – during the past five years, only one student did not pass the NCLEX on the first try – gave the University a ranking score of 98.71.
The national average pass rate on the NCLEX for 2020 is 90.29 percent among graduates of baccalaureate programs and 86.57 percent among all U.S.-educated grads, including those in diploma or associate-degree programs. Eighteen of Wingate’s 19 May 2020 grads have taken the test, and all passed.