The NCLEX—the national licensing exam that a student must pass in order to practice nursing—has a reputation as a tough exam that many students don’t pass on their first try.
So when every single graduate of Elmhurst’s Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice (MENP) program passed the NCLEX this year, it was an achievement worth celebrating.
“You expect good results, but hardly any program achieves that 100 percent benchmark,” said Diane Salvador, executive director of the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Launched in 2015, the MENP program offers a path to the nursing profession for students who have bachelor’s degrees in other fields. The only program of its kind in Chicago’s suburbs, it allows students to pursue an advanced degree in nursing while developing the skills required to become a registered nurse.
“The board exams were a piece of cake for me because the program at Elmhurst prepared me so well,” said Tim Dunham ’16. “Our professors gave us a ton of resources to study for the exam, too.”
The Class of 2016 achieved a high job placement rate as well, starting careers everywhere from AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to a hospital in Minnesota.
“Some of our graduates had multiple job offers,” said Elizabeth Davis, director of the MENP program. “We have people working on the front lines in a variety of settings, preparing for leadership roles.”
As for Tim Dunham, he parlayed his master’s degree into a new position at the hospital where he had previously worked as a respiratory therapist.
“I passed the boards in July and got a job offer that same month,” he said. “And in August, I started working as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at St. Alexis Medical Center.”