Search news

Inaugural Physician Assistant Class Achieves 100% First-time Pass Rate on National Certification Exam

June 26, 2012

Physicain Asistants

The inaugural class of Physician Assistant graduates at Franklin Pierce University (FPU) has passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) with a 100% first-time pass rate. Twenty-two students have worked together in FPU’s graduate program at their Lebanon campus to complete the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS). The 100% first-time pass rate on the national exam gives this inaugural class something extra to celebrate; the national average for first-time passes is 92%.

“These were hardworking students who were pioneers of a brand new program. I’m not surprised that they all passed,” says Program Coordinator Pam O’Brien. The MPAS students graduated this past spring after completing a year of class work, followed by a year of clinical training in a variety of settings throughout New England and beyond.  The 22 students had each earned a seat in the FPU program out of a pool of over 60 applicants in 2009; news of the program’s development has now spread nationwide, with over 1,400 candidates applying in 2012.

Physician Assistants work as part of a team under the supervision of a physician and must be nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine. The 100% first-time pass rate for this class of FPU graduates means that each of them can now begin the state licensing application process in order to begin to practice. Physician Assistants perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling, make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes, and may prescribe medications.  

The MPAS program at FPU has another class of 22 students who are currently doing their program class work, 26 students are doing their second year of clinical training, and final acceptances are in review for the 26 new seats available this fall. Douglas R. Southard, MPAS program director, says, “One of the major goals of Franklin Pierce’s program is to train Physician Assistants to serve the rural medically underserved areas of New England. I’m so pleased that our inaugural class has achieved a 100% first-time pass rate and can move forward in their careers and begin serving people.”




                 An education that matters.

Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

return to news