Coppin State University has received a $25,000 grant to help nursing students prepare for their licensure exam.

With the grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, Coppin State University’s nursing school will purchase and implement instructional technology and assessment software to better prepare students for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

The ExamSoft technology “includes case studies, and more questions related to clinical reasoning,” Coppin State University officials said in a press release.

Students can use the software on their mobile devices both in and out of the classroom.

“Putting our Coppin-trained nurses on the path to licensure is how we define success for our School of Nursing,” Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins said in a statement. “Our nurses are among the best in Maryland, because of our outstanding faculty and the guidance they provide. This software is a new tool in their toolkit to serve our students and help them secure a career that will transform their futures, as well as health outcomes for entire communities.”

The funding comes weeks after a report on Maryland’s health care workforce, which found one-quarter of the state’s nursing positions are vacant and that there is a high staff turnover rate.

The Maryland Hospital Association, which released the report in August, called it “the most critical staffing shortage in recent memory,” Maryland Matters reported.

Using the new technology, Coppin State officials hope more nursing students will be able to pass their licensure exams on their first attempt, allowing the university to help fill the state’s nursing shortage.

In 2021, 84.6% of Coppin State University nursing students passed their licensure exam on their first attempt, and 100% of students who graduated with their bachelor of science in nursing were employed within six months of graduating, the university reported.

New nurses will also help address “critical needs for an aging, and more diverse population,” Coppin State officials said.

The National Nursing Workforce Study in 2020 found that about 19% of registered nurses in the United States self-reported as a minority group.

“Our students have to contribute to a culturally diverse workforce, that mirrors our nation’s changing demographics,” said Crystal Day-Black, an associate professor of nursing at Coppin State University, in a statement. “This is especially important because patients want people who look like them. We know that there are disparities in health care delivery for racial and ethnic minorities. Our students are filling the gaps.”

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at