CANYON, TX (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) has been recognized for having more than a 96 percent passing rate in nursing licensing exams.
WT is the second highest ranked school in the state of Texas to have nursing students pass the mandatory NCLEX exam on their first try.
WT Department Head of Nursing, Helen Reyes said this is an exciting time to have such good passing rate as there is a high demand for more area nurses.
"We are very happy for our students success and our faculties success," said Reyes. "We need more nurses. There's a nursing shortage out there, we are estimating by 2020 there should be about 70,000 nursing positions open in Texas alone and so it's a great profession to be in, it's a great time to be a nurse but our students will be working around these shortages."
WT has over 600 students studying in nursing or who are interested and they accept about 45 into their nursing program each semester.
Right now, 400 nurses in the Texas Panhandle are graduates from WT, and if testing rates continue to rise they may accept more students into the program in an attempt to send more graduates into the work force.
"It's important to get people out there in the nursing workforce," said Reyes. "We have been working very hard with students and the staff to get the students prepared and it's great to know our students are passing the exam. They devote a lot of their time and lot of their life into this."