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Grads from Accelerated Nursing Program Get to Work Quickly

Rebecca Wilson came a long way from her native England to enroll last year in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at the Mount. Now Wilson, who graduated from the rigorous one-year program in May, is enrolled in the New Grad Training Program at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys.

She’s one of three 2005 accelerated nursing graduates from the Mount who are in training at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, and among about 40 who graduate from the program each year and enter the workforce. The Mount is expanding the program to graduate 60 nurses in May 2006.

Fast-track baccalaureate nursing programs are growing in popularity as a means to ease an ongoing shortage of nurses in Southern California and nationwide. Wilson, whose new grad training program puts her through 16 weeks of intensive training in classrooms and hospital units, is preparing to work in Valley Presbyterian’s Labor & Delivery Unit.

The Mount's accelerated program offers the bachelor’s degree in nursing to students already holding a bachelor's degree. Graduates from the accelerated program are highly motivated and have higher first-time pass rates on the registered nurse licensing exam than other bachelor’s degree nursing students nationwide.

The accelerated students’ pass rate of 95 percent on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) far surpasses the nationwide average pass rate of 85 percent for other first time test takers. Pass rates on the exam are considered the No. 1 indicator of quality in a nursing program.

“The quality of new nurse graduates from Mount Saint Mary’s University is top notch,” said Susan Gonda, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Valley Presbyterian and an instructor at the College. “Valley Presbyterian’s new grad training program reinforces what the new grads have learned, and then some. We mentor them through the very challenging first months on the units.”

Wilson entered the Mount to learn a second profession. She had previously earned her bachelor of arts degree at Boston University, majoring in communications and public relations. After working for a publicist in Los Angeles, Wilson moved to Switzerland, then returned to Los Angeles to pursue her nursing education. She took nursing pre-requisites at Santa Monica College and then was accepted at the Mount.

Wilson chose to work for Valley Presbyterian Hospital after taking rotations there. “I took rotations at different hospitals and people are so nice and helpful at Valley Presbyterian Hospital,” Wilson said.

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