Physician Assistant graduates achieve one hundred percent pass rate on national certifying exam on first attempt

Feb. 16, 2018 | Physician Assistant |

The Harding University Physician Assistant Program announced all 35 members of its December 2017 graduating class passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), a national licensing exam required to practice as a physician assistant. All of the graduates achieved a passing score in their first attempt at the exam. This is the third time a Harding class of PA graduates has achieved a one-hundred percent pass rate.

“These graduates have worked very hard to achieve this, and we are very proud of them,” said Dr. Michael Murphy, director of the physician assistant program. “The feedback I’ve received from many of our past graduates is that they felt very well prepared by the PA program’s curriculum.”

Harding PA graduates are practicing throughout Arkansas and at least 15 other states in a variety of settings including primary care, urgent and emergent care, dermatology, geriatrics, internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, rheumatology, mental health, urology, pediatrics, orthopedics and other surgical specialties.

“The faculty and staff work tirelessly to make sure that students’ experiences with us prepare them to be excellent clinicians,” said Murphy. “As much as it is in our power, we will do our best to graduate successful PAs who are equipped to practice medicine in an ever-changing environment.”

Housed in the $8.5 million Farrar Center for Health Sciences, the University’s PA program was established in 2005 as the first physician assistant program in Arkansas. Harding boasts a 97 percent graduation rate for PAs; national data reveals the average graduation rate is 90.8 percent across the U.S. Of the 341 students who have graduated from the Harding PA program, all but two ultimately passed the PANCE.

For more information about the physician assistant program, visit or call 501-279-5642.

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Categories: Academics and University.