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WLU nursing program falters, students concerned

Updated: Thursday, May 15 2014, 09:18 PM EDT

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va.--

Students are concerned after West Liberty University's nursing program was given only provisional accreditation by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses.

Students at WLU sent a letter to the president -- and other school officials.

It explains some students are unhappy with the nursing program and are concerned about their future.

The letter states students would like a "reasonable solution and better standards."

WLU is among a list of a dozen West Virginia schools on provisional, probationary, status.

The status is based on the School of Nursing's test scores on the national licensing exam, which graduates must take to become a registered nurse.

Provost, Dr. Brian Crawford, at West Liberty University said the status is unfortunate, but not uncommon.

"When you fall below 80 percent, for a couple of years, then you're put on provisional status," said Crawford. "It's unfortunate and the goal is always 100 percent."

Wheeling Jesuit University and West Virginia Northern Community College--New Martinsville campus have also been placed on provisional.

Meanwhile, the same thing happened to Mountain State University in Beckley in 2010, but they later lost accreditation for the nursing program.

"It's unfortunately not uncommon if you look across the state right now there are many schools that are in exactly the same position, but we are making improvements," said Crawford.

However, WLU has been forced to decrease admissions to the nursing program for the upcoming fall semester.

Laura Skidmore Rhodes, executive director of the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurse, said they have decreased WLU's student admission number to 25.

"We did this so they can correct issues and improve pass rates," said Rhodes.

Crawford said WLU has brought in a consultant to help.

"Help us identify some of the areas of where we need to be and we have been in the process of making staffing and curriculum changes," said Crawford.

Rhodes said it's imperative for WLU to improve its board of nursing exam scores--- so that the provisional status period can be lifted.

Meanwhile, representatives with WJU say the school has also taken steps to improve.

WLU nursing program falters, students concerned


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