The New Jersey Board of Nursing is charged with the responsibility of “accrediting” nursing schools. To be accredited, N.J.A.C. 13:37-1.3(c)2 requires that a nursing school on provisional accreditation have 75% of students from the first or second graduating class pass the examination the first time it is taken. The NJ Board of Nursing has interpreted that regulation as requiring that 75% of any students who take the examination during a calendar year pass the examination, regardless of whether they were in the first or second graduating class.
The Supreme Court has ruled in In Re Eastwick College LPN – to RN Bridge Program, 225 N.J.533(2016) that the Board’s reading of the statute is improper. The Supreme Court held that the plain language of the regulation required that only students in a specific class would count towards the calculation of passage rates on the examination. Thus, students from the first graduating class who take the licensing examination a year after graduating do not count towards the calculation of the passage rates for the second graduating class. The Board proposes to amend the administrative provision to address the concerns raised by the Supreme Court and make it clear that 75% of graduates who take the examination in a calendar year and who pass the exam will satisfy the requirement.