• 9 Investigates Florida nursing programs not meeting state standards


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - More than 1/3 of nursing programs in Florida are not meeting state standards.

    Florida requires that programs be within 10 percent of the national average for students passing the license test, currently 36 percent of schools in the state are below that threshold.

    “It’s very concerning,” Mary Lou Sole, the head of the nursing program at the University of Central Florida, said. “People are getting loans for an education that they are not able to use and not able to practice.”

    UCF, which has a Bachelor of Science in nursing program, had 228 out of 233 students pass the license test in 2014. Other Central Florida schools, including Daytona State College, Seminole State and Valencia College, had passage rates above the national average. However, some local schools have had consistent reporting periods with number below the national average, a concern for nursing educators.

    Med-Life Institute in Kissimmee offers two programs. One is accredited, the other is not and neither has as passage rate above 50 percent. Med-Life representatives told 9 Investigates that the rating is based on a student’s first attempt at the license test and that it offers free tutoring to students in need of extra assistance.

    For its part, the state is trying to keep an eye on failing programs. If a program falls below the national average for two years in a row, it is placed on probation and must submit a plan and increase its passage rate.

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    9 Investigates Florida nursing programs not meeting state standards