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OTHER ITA SITES:
Continuing Nursing Competency
For those student nurses who are about to graduate, their main priority is to pass the NCLEX-RN examination. The practice of nursing is regulated according to licensing authorities in each state jurisdiction.
Each jurisdiction must ensure that each nurse has the minimum competency to practice nursing in their state. In order to ensure such requirements, the National Council of State Boards of Nurses, Inc.
(NCSBN) has developed a comprehensive examination entitled, National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX test plan occurs in several steps. The first step is to conduct a practice analysis. This is used to collect data on the practice of entry level nurses. By collecting this data the board can design NCLEX test questions that will be applicable to the majority of graduate nurses.
For instance, it has been found that the majority of new graduate nurses find work on medical/surgical units. The majority of the new graduates surveyed also indicated their primary responsibility was in the delivery of direct patient care. (1) Therefore, questions regarding the care of patients on medical/surgical units is pertinent and important for graduate nurses to know. Although some graduate nurses will tell you that they had more questions on psychiatric nursing or maternity nursing on the NCLEX, this is not the norm.
Six thousand or more newly licensed registered nurses are asked about the frequency and priority of performing more than one hundred and fifty care activities. These activities are analyzed in relation to the impact on patient care, safety and client settings where they are performed. It is in this framework that NCLEX test questions are designed to be applicable in real world settings, thus requiring graduate nurses to be knowledgeable of such practices.
The second step in the NCLEX test plan is to develop a method to test behaviors regarding the content formed in step one. The NCLEX-RN, Test Plan, provides a focused summary of the concepts to be tested. It serves not only to delineate what content to cover and the method of presenting the test questions but also serves to assist in developing a study guide in preparing those who will take the test. The NCLEX assesses the graduate nurse’s knowledge of required skills to practice nursing safely and competently.
Beliefs about people and nursing underlie the NCLEX-RN test plan. People are finite beings with varying capacities to function in society. (2) Each person is a unique and special individual existing in a system that they exert some control over, such as their beliefs, social systems, family systems, health customs. It is in this underlying theory of each individuals beliefs that the nursing process guides in the intervention to promote psychological and physical wellness.
Nursing is an art as much as it is a science, founded on a scientific body of knowledge that has been tested and proven effective in meeting the goals of each individual. The cognitive learning domain is a integral part of the NCLEX test plan. The use of Bloom’s taxonomy is the basis for writing and coding items (Bloom,e tal.,1956: Anderson
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