USF’s recently graduated Physician’s Assistants excel

USF PA Class of 2013 with 100% first-time pass rate on the PANCE Exam

USF PA Class of 2013 with 100% first-time pass rate on the PANCE Exam


The University of St. Francis’ newest Physician Assistants were the first class in the history of the Albuquerque-based program to achieve a 100% first-time pass rate on the certifying Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Thirty-one students comprised the Class of 2013 and all passed PANCE, a test which assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge, with flying colors.

Said USF’s Laurie Grimes, PA program director, “These graduates rose to the challenge of an extremely difficult curriculum and their hard work paid off. This is also a tribute to the core and adjunct faculty who were involved in their education.”

USF’s Albuquerque campus is entirely devoted to the university’s PA and Family Nurse Practitioner programs. The program fills a great need, as the Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing within the rapidly growing health care field. With a looming shortage of primary care physicians, University of St. Francis offers much opportunity to interested students.

A unique aspect of the USF program is that it focuses on providing care for the medically underserved. Many graduates are currently providing service in underserved areas of the Albuquerque region. They act as primary providers, conferring with supervising physicians and other medical professionals as needed and required by law. All of this supports the university’s Catholic, Franciscan mission and its commitment to preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.

“Over the last five years, the average pass rate for fist-time takers was 87%. This year, the Class of 2013 hit the bullseye,” said College of Arts & Sciences Dean, Robert Kase. “This is a major accomplishment for the PA program and the university is very proud.”

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit