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Aug. 21, 2007

Baylor nursing grads breeze through licensure exam

Recent graduates of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing have once again scored significantly higher than the national average on a standardized nursing certification test, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

All nursing graduates who wish to enter the profession are required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Of the 121 Baylor graduates who took the test in the last academic year, 113 passed on their first try--a 93 percent pass rate. The national average for those who pass it on their first try is 84 percent. For the past five years, the rate of Baylor nursing students passing the certification test the first time has been consistently above 90 percent.

"I am very proud of our students and faculty," said Judy Lott, dean of the nursing school. "Each year, it becomes more difficult to provide nursing education because there is so much new information in health care that must be added to the curriculum. The students' performances show that our graduates are able to provide safe and effective nursing care. It also demonstrates that our faculty [members] are doing their jobs exceptionally well."

Dallas couple makes challenge gift for nursing school simulators

As reported in the last issue of Baylor Magazine, Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing is seeking financial support for a much-

needed patient simulation laboratory. Recently, a $250,000 gift from Don A. and Ruth Vernon Buchholz of Dallas brought the school halfway to its goal--and it comes with a challenge for others to fully fund the $500,000 project.

"I don't think people truly realize the critical shortage of nurses. It is estimated that there will be over 1 million vacant nursing positions by 2020, with Texas being one of the hardest-hit states," Ruth Buchholz said. "Our gift will help give students the opportunity for learning skills that they will need. We hope others will join us in this wonderful opportunity to make a difference at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing."

The simulator "patients" are anatomically realistic, with pre-programmed scenarios that allow nursing students to learn about all aspects of patient care in real time.

A perfect bar exam score for

Baylor law students

All 37 Baylor law students who took the rigorous three-day Texas State Bar Exam in February passed on their first try. Additionally, two Baylor students who took the exam in other states, one in Tennessee and one in Arizona, also passed.

Baylor achieved the highest pass rate among students from the nine Texas law schools. The overall state pass rate was 79 percent, with a total of 258 successful candidates among the 326 law students who took the exam.

In 2006, Baylor Law School also had the highest pass rate in the state on the exam, which is given twice a year and qualifies a candidate to practice law.

"Our faculty members regard themselves as having a duty that not only extends to our students, but also to those whom our students will serve once admitted to the profession," said Brad Toben, dean of the Law School and The M.C. and Mattie Caston Professor of Law.

This year has been a notable one for the Law School. Its mock trial team won the national championship at the AAJ/ATLA mock trial competition; two of its professors, Gerald Powell and Jim Wren, were honored by the Texas chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates; and Baylor Law alumnus Harper Estes was selected president-elect of the Texas State Bar Association, one of the largest bar associations in the nation.

Baylor College Bowl team excels

at national tournament

The Baylor University College Bowl team's third trip to the national tournament in four years ended with their best finish ever--placement in the final four. The team competed May 4-6 at the University of Southern California.

This year's team consisted of captain John Solter, a senior finance and entrepreneurship major from Prairie Village, Kan.; Stephanie Bialko, a senior anthropology major from Dumont, N.J.; Erik Ellis, a graduate student studying history from Catoosa, Okla.; Eric Headstream, a junior philosophy major from Katy; and Sarah Swinney, a junior classics, history and museum studies major from Bethany, Okla.

Bialko scored more points than any other woman at the tournament, and Solter has been a leader to team members since being named to the All-Star College Bowl team in 2004.

Exploring medical ethics

Nationally prominent experts in medical and health care ethics with credentials in law, medicine, philosophy and theology were among the speakers during Baylor University's annual Medical Ethics Conference on June 8-9 at George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

The Medical Ethics Conference is a working forum for practicing health care professionals to explore the pressing moral questions of medicine and health care delivery and to seek a deeper theological understanding of their vocation as God's summons to a life of service. The conference is funded in part through the Baylor Horizons program, an initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. for the exploration of vocation, and co-sponsored by Baylor's Center for Christian Ethics and Institute for Faith and Learning.

Joining Baylor faculty from various fields to lead sessions were Mary Louise Bringle of Brevard College, Therese Lysaught of the University of Dayton, Gilbert C. Meilaender of Valparaiso University, Baylor alumnus David Solomon, BA '64, of the University of Notre Dame, Allen Verhey of Duke University Divinity School, and Brian Volck of the University of Cincinnati.

Distinguished contributors from Baylor included: Michael Attas, Darin Davis, Douglas V. Henry, Robert B. Kruschwitz, James Marcum, Margaret Watkins Tate and Jonathan Tran.

Baylor's Air Force ROTC detachment commissions largest class in 48 years
As the United States Air Force commemorates its 60th anniversary, Baylor's Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Detachment 810 celebrated that proud tradition and its own milestone this May as the program commissioned its largest class of second lieutenants since 1957.

The Baylor AFROTC program began in 1948, with the inaugural class of second lieutenants commissioned in 1950. The program has about 120 cadets, with the number of officers produced yearly by Baylor's program averaging 21. This year's total of 31 officers places the university eighth in the nation among 144 detachments for production.

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