Mary’s graduates continue to fill nursing shortage in North Dakota, the region, and across the United States

BISMARCK, ND—Nursing’s national benchmarking service, Mountain Measurements, ranks University of Mary’s program No. 1 in America.  The yearly rankings report is based on the 2018 Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates who took the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam. All 66 University of Mary graduates who took the licensure exam for the first time passed.

Dr. Glenda Reemts, professor and chair of the Division of Nursing at the University of Mary, says several factors account for the great scores: nursing faculty work heavily with students to prepare; a curriculum that follows industry quality and safety standards; and the CHI senior-year-free scholarship incentive that is available to nursing students who maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate years all help set a high academic standard.

“The CHI senior-year-free-scholarship is a huge incentive to attracting some of the best and brightest nursing candidates to the University of Mary and also a peace of mind for our students that allows them to take full advantage of all our wonderful offerings and ultimately help our university become No. 1 in the nation,” stated Reemts. “The exceptional outcome of our NCLEX results speaks highly of our dedicated students as well as the excellent nursing faculty who invest deeply into the preparation of the students. Furthermore, students are well prepared to enter the nursing program through the sound foundation in the liberal arts education they receive here at the University of Mary. We are extremely proud of our nursing graduates who are prepared to be servant leaders of moral courage in meeting the healthcare needs of people in this region and beyond.”

Those needs are extremely high. University of Mary graduates are helping to fill a national nursing shortage. Unfortunately, graduates who don’t pass the NCLEX exam on the first attempt have to wait a minimum of 45 days to retake—prohibiting the graduate from entering the nursing workforce.

The University of Mary’s program has always ranked very high over the years, but it’s the first time the university has made it to the top in all three areas: scoring the best among similar programs, tops within its jurisdiction, and of course, No. 1 at the national level—which is among the 2,061 nursing programs at colleges and universities across the United States.

In 1959, when the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery founded the school as Mary College, nursing was one of only two offerings, and has proudly spent the past 60 years perfecting its curriculum into one of America’s premier nursing programs today.

“Now, the University of Mary is respected across the nation for its strong nursing program that is set apart by incorporating a curriculum that is intense, challenging and patient centered—always following the core Christian principals that stem from the Benedictine values lived out by our founders. Now the program and its students are reaping the rewards for its classroom and clinical rigors,” added Reemts.

The NCLEX-RN exam tests candidates prepared for the role of a registered nurse. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) states, “Licensure is the process by which boards of nursing grant permission to an individual to engage in nursing practice after determining that the applicant has attained the competency necessary to perform a unique scope of practice. The licensure process determines if the applicant has the necessary skills to safely perform a specified scope of practice by predetermining the criteria needed and evaluating licensure applicants to determine if they meet the criteria.”

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About the University of Mary

True to its motto “lumen vitae”—the Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs grounded in a solid liberal arts tradition.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers over 60 undergraduate degrees, 14 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs in Occupational Therapy, Education, Nursing Practice and Physical Therapy. With over 3,600 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Arizona, Rome and Milan, Italy and Arequipa, Peru as well as vibrant online offerings. For more information, visit