6 Years in a Row: 100% Nurse Licensure Exam Pass Rate | Saint Francis University
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6 Years in a Row: 100% Nurse Licensure Exam Pass Rate

October 11, 2019 Tags: Distinctions , Health Sciences and Education

Nursing students say a prayer during the White Coat Ceremony

The  number one ranked nursing program in the Nation by RNCareers.org has achieved yet another milestone.

Saint Francis University’s  Nursing Program received notice from the  Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing that their  2019 National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) first time pass rate was 100 percent. This news makes Saint Francis Nursing the only nursing program in the state to have a 100 percent first-time pass rate for the past six consecutive years and is a testament to SFU's commitment to prepare its students to become outstanding nurses educated in Franciscan values.

“Much of the program’s success can be attributed to the hard work of students, faculty, staff, and the support of administration. We are so grateful for all of the time and effort that the faculty and students have put forth in achieving such outstanding outcomes,” said  Dr. Rita Trofino, DNP, MNEd, RN, who serves as the Nursing Department Chair and Associate Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Education.

According to Dr. Trofino and Dr. Kim Forst, BSN Program Director, job placement for Saint Francis nursing graduates has been excellent, as 100% of graduates who seek professional employment within 3 months of graduation have jobs in the profession.

Areas of employment for the 2019 graduates include: West Virginia Ruby Memorial Medical Center, US Army, UPMC Altoona, UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Mercy, UPMC Shadyside, Allegheny General Hospital, Uniontown Hospital, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

About the Program

Saint Francis has been providing quality undergraduate nursing education for more than 30 years. The Department of Nursing’s goal is to inspire students to dedicate themselves to service, leadership, critical self-reflection and life-long learning in the spirit of Franciscan values. The Nursing Program challenges students in the application of clinical reasoning, cultural competence, patient care technologies, and interprofessional collaborative practice. Embracing an evidence-based approach, the department is dedicated to providing safe and quality care to individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.

Recent Additions

The Department of Nursing more recently built upon its strong foundation with the following Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Leadership/Education Track (L/E) which graduated its first cohort in August of 2018. This degree will provide BSN graduates with a new option to pursue nursing administrative/leadership or educational roles.
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Family Nurse Practitioner Track (FNP)
  • Post-Master’s Certificate Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner (PMC-FNP) Track  


The baccalaureate nursing program at Saint Francis University has full approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.The baccalaureate degree program and master’s degree programs (MSN L/E; MSN FNP) are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Dr. Kim Forst, DNP, RN is the BSN Program Director, and can be reached at kforst@ francis.edu, or at 814-472-3314.

Dr. Camille Wendekier, PhD, CRRN, CSN, RN is the Program Director of the MSN, L/E Program, and can be reached at cwendekier@francis.edu, or at 814-472-2843. 

Dr. Renee Gilhousen, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, is the Program Director for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Family Nurse Practitioner Track (FNP) and the Post-Master’s Certificate FNP Program. Dr. Gilhousen can be reached at rgilhousen@francis.edu or at 814-472-3057.

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