GNTC Nursing Programs Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate


All 18 Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) graduates, in the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program and the Practical Nursing (PN) program, who took a national nursing licensure exam this year have passed on their first attempt and achieved a 100 percent pass rate.

Nine graduates from GNTC’s Associate of Science in Nursing program and nine graduates from the Practical Nursing program recently took the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for their respective fields.

“The NCLEX is a standardized test used nationwide as a way for states to verify nursing knowledge and gauge competency to practice as a nurse,” said Michelle Spears-Sevy, ASN program director and instructor at GNTC. “It tests general knowledge of health maintenance and disease progression, diagnostic procedures and the ability to use clinical judgment to make decisions to ensure patient safety.”

All ASN program graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Regardless of any degree earned, a person cannot practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) without passing the NCLEX-RN and receiving a license, Spears-Sevy said. Once graduates have become licensed, they may practice as an RN in the state in which the license is granted.

The following ASN graduates received their degree on May 4, 2023, and passed the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN: Lauryn Baxter, Relecia Garrett, Jason HarrodJordan Hughes, Andrea Ice, Mary Morter, Tria Staley, Courtney Velasquez and Haley Wilson. Spears-Sevy said the graduates dubbed themselves “The Nightingale Nine.”


Harrod, is the husband of 2020 ASN graduate Brooke Harrod, and Wilson is the sister of 2020 ASN graduate Brittany Pendley, she said. 

Students that graduate from GNTC’s Practical Nursing program qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), said Brandi Thompson, director and instructor of Practical Nursing at GNTC.

“This 100 percent passing rate is considered when evaluating our program for reaccreditation, is recognized by the Georgia Board of Nursing and looks good in the community,” Thompson said, adding that the PN program is held to the standard of 487.5 clinical hours that must be obtained face-to-face.

The GNTC Practical Nursing graduates who graduated Dec. 13, 2022, and passed the NCLEX-PN exam early this year to become an LPN are Shan Burnette, Kayla Caldwell, Ariel Crider, Kristina Jones, Amanda Milam, Shana Perez, Jessica Sandoval and Charla Welch. Jacqueline Sanchez passed the exam in March 2023.

Thompson said she is proud of their accomplishment because a 100 percent pass rate is “hard to achieve.”

Burnette retired from the Georgia State Patrol, and Welch worked in the Emergency Management Service for more than 20 years, Thompson said. All but one of the students are raising children while attending school.

Regarding the NCLEX exams for Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing, “both exams are difficult, and both are comprehensive,” Spears-Sevy said. “They are both designed to validate the learning that has occurred within the programs, which is what makes them different.”

GNTC Associate of Science in Nursing graduates (from left) Relicia Garrett, Tria Staley, Jordan Hughes, Jason Harrod, Andrea Ice, Lauryn Baxter, Haley Wilson, Courtney Velasquez and Mary Morter passed the NCLEX-RN exam on their first attempt. They graduated on May 4, 2023.
(From left, front row) GNTC Practical Nursing graduates Kristina Jones, Kayla Caldwell, Shana Perez, Amanda Milam, Jessica Sandoval; (second row) Shan Burnette, Caitlyn Tillman, Clarah Burley, Ariel Crider and Charla Welch graduated on Dec. 13, 2022. Burnette, Caldwell, Crider, Jones, Milam, Perez, Sandoval and Welch passed the NCLEX-PN exam on the first attempt. Jacqueline Sanchez (not pictured) passed the exam in March 2023.



GNTC’s ASN program is housed on the Walker County Campus in Rock Spring. GNTC offers the PN program on its Floyd County Campus in Rome and the Walker County Campus.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,601 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,071 students and an additional enrollment of 3,530 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.