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Northwest Nursing Division Implements New Admission Requirements

Courtesy of Northwest Miss. Community College

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Division of Nursing has announced new requirements for application to the college’s Associate Degree Program in Nursing. According to Nursing Division Director Dr. Denise Bynum, the new changes will go into effect for the class beginning in January 2018.

“This is not going to apply to people who have been accepted for the classes beginning this fall. It will start with the applicants who apply between August 1 and September 15, who will start their classes in January of next year,” Bynum said.
She explained that the changes are a result of researching other schools in Mississippi and around that have high board pass rates and good completion rates. She and her faculty also looked at current literature. “We wanted to see what we needed to change to make sure our students are successful,” Bynum said.
Bynum stated that applicants will now be required to take an entrance exam before applying to the nursing program. The National Nursing League’s (NLN) PAX Entrance Test, is a basic math and reading test, and not a test of nursing knowledge. According to NLN, the primary purpose of the PAX is “to facilitate admission decisions by providing nurse educators with a standardized instrument to use as a common ‘yardstick’ for evaluating the academic ability of applicants to nursing programs.”
She said that the test can be accessed on the Northwest website, so that students can sign up easily. The cost for the test is $39. Students must make a certain score to be considered for application. A $20 proctoring fee (cash or money order) is due on the day of the test.
Another change to the application process is the addition of two more prerequisite courses. In addition to the current prerequisite course of Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) I and its lab, applicants must also have completed A&P II and its lab, and College Algebra before applying to the program. “The courses need to be completed and on their transcript before they apply,” said Leslie Legendre, Nursing Division administrative assistant.
The composite ACT and the ACT Science score will now be considered, Bynum said. She said that previously, ACT composites and Reading scores were considered.
Lastly, the required grade point average (GPA) will be 2.50, which is up from the current 2.0 that is currently required. “All of the prerequisite classes must now have a 2.5 with all attempts only in the past seven years counted. Those are all averaged into the GPA for those three classes only. Research shows us that it is science and math that matters in learning nursing,” Bynum said.
The Nursing Division will hold two free Informational Sessions for anyone interested in applying to the ADN program. Interested applicants may attend on either of these dates: Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m. or Thursday, Aug. 3 at 2:30 p.m. “There is no prior sign up required for the sessions. Anyone who is interested in applying just needs to come and bring a friend or family member,” Bynum said.
According to Bynum, those attending the sessions will have an opportunity to meet some of the faculty and get a tour of the building to include a tour of the state of the art simulation laboratory. Attendees will learn about admission criteria, the application process, competitive criteria for admission and how to increase their chances of being admitted to the program.
For more information on the new admission requirements or to sign up for an informational session, please visit the nursing section of the Northwest website at northwestms.edu/nursing or contact Bynum at dtbynum@northwestms.edu.

Courtesy of LaJuan Tallo and Northwest Miss Community College
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