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Lehigh Carbon Community College

A pinning ceremony is one of the final rituals for graduating nurses. Twenty-five Reinhardt University students received the honor Thursday, and walked at graduation today. Every one of them has already received at least one job offer, so they have a lot to celebrate before taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The Cauble School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Reinhardt has been thriving in its student success in passing the NCLEX. Small class sizes and faculty-student relationships are credited for this remarkable accomplishment. The Bachelor of Science program launched in January 2018 with high-quality labs and facilities in Jasper, Georgia. One hundred percent of three of the graduating cohorts passed the NCLEX. Overall, the program boasts a 91.58% pass rate for the life of the school, well above state and national averages.

“What’s especially noteworthy about our pass rate is our entrance requirements aren’t as stiff as prestigious schools we’re compared to,” boasts Assistant Professor of Nursing, Kimberlin Zelinsky. “We recognize that the quality of a student and the quality of a future nurse is more than just GPA or standardized test scores. We also consider other aspects of a student’s potential when we make entrance decisions. We recognize the importance of the whole person. We educate the whole person and work hard alongside them to reach our high standards to achieve such high pass rates.”

Zelinsky and other faculty work with students in small groups and one on one to help them find their way to success. They also take time to get to know each student individually on a personal level to understand and help with any struggles. Graduate Casee Disharoon gave a testament to this, “I never imagined having this kind of relationship with the faculty. It makes me emotional because I truly couldn’t have succeeded without their help and encouragement.” Because students complete all degree prerequisite classes before entering the nursing program, the small nursing cohorts also become cohesive units.

Teaching methods at Cauble are also committed to real-life clinical experiences. Reinhardt was one of the first schools post-Covid to get students back into a clinical setting. The program offers an experience in a diverse range of healthcare facilities and environments. Students are in a real-life hospital setting in their first semester. The clinical experiences range from community settings to large metro trauma centers.  Students even complete a full rotation in critical care and emergency nursing, which can’t be said for all nursing programs, “So many students go into the emergency department after graduation and we want them to be prepared,” explained Zelinsky. Several faculty members even maintain clinical practice to remain current in their field.

Reinhardt has high-tech methods for teaching and learning nursing, but Zelinsky says that isn’t the most important to her, “Technology is great, but it’s just a tool. We’re getting more new equipment, but my proudest moment is always with students and when they accomplish what they thought was impossible. I measure my success by their success.”

This fall, Reinhardt launches its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The 5-semester 100% online program prepares graduates to work in the field of nursing education.

Zelinsky encourages anyone undecided in their career to consider nursing. “Nurses are in high demand and pay well. There are so many career opportunities in a huge variety of settings. The sky is your limit if you become a nurse.”