Low licensure exam scores raise concerns at St. Paul College's nursing school

Updated: November 05, 2019 06:46 PM

Awale Kore plans to start his nursing schooling at St. Paul College in just two months.

But news that students are having difficulty passing the licensure exam is troubling.


"It's actually worrying me right now because I'm like, am I going to be the one that is failing or doing good," Kore said.

In 2017, just 65 percent of St. Paul College students passed the test on the first try.

In 2018, that percentage dropped to 52 percent.

Records show 85 percent of Minnesota students generally pass the test on the first try.

"Minnesota has a first-time pass rate that is above the national average for practical nursing programs, so this is a bit unusual," said Shirley Brekken, the executive director of the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

Brekken says the need for licensed practical nurses in Minnesota is great. But points out being skilled is essential.

"It is important that programs in Minnesota are turning out sufficient numbers, but also that those nurses can practice safely and ethically and at a level that is expected of them," she said.

St. Paul College issued a statement stating it is working to "reduce turnover in the program's leadership, overhauling the program's curriculum and adding mandatory exam preparation sessions," stating they are confident these changes "will meet or exceed state and accreditation requirements in 2020".

The school goes on to state if it does not produce expected results, it will voluntarily suspend the program while still allowing students to complete their studies.

Connect with KSTP

Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.


Jessica Miles

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


Pregnant woman dies, baby delivered after shooting in Minneapolis

Injured Waseca officer marks 6 months since shooting, continues long recovery

St. Paul police looking for man who shot at driver with child in the car