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Nursing Education - Passing National Boards - Articles Surfing

The following information is from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing Task Force, that investigated the pass and fail rate of nursing students that have taken the NCLEX. The scores for the state of Oklahoma were lower than most of the states in the Union, prompting the formation of a task force and investigation of possible reasons for the low scores. What all perspective nursing students can gain from this report is how crucial it is to sit for the boards as soon as possible after graduation and to take advantage of all the help available in preparing for the NCLEX. The nurses efforts in putting this wealth of knowledge together has been a monumental task and all nursing schools across the country are grateful for the information that they have been able to provide after many long hours of research.

*Summary of Information from Pass Rate Reports *

In reports submitted by nursing education programs with NCLEX pass rates ten percentage points or more below the national average, the following commonalities were noted:

* Some programs do not regularly use accessible sources of data to evaluate the correlation between admission scores, grade point average, NCLEX predictor examination scores, and NCLEX pass rate. This impacts the ability of the program to make informed decisions about changes likely to result in an improvement of their NCLEX pass rate.

* Many programs have only recently begun the use of NCLEX predictor examinations as a requirement of the program. Data on the efficacy of these examinations and on appropriate follow-up plans is limited.

* Grade inflation is a factor leading to a low NCLEX pass rate in some nursing education programs, particularly in programs that allow significant point credit in theory courses for attendance, participation, and completion of assignments.

* Some programs do not identify minimum academic requirements for admission to the program. Instead, a point system may be used to select those who are deemed to be better qualified. While the use of point systems in admission decisions may be appropriate, point systems fail when applicant numbers drop. In cases in which there is a small applicant pool, identifying minimum academic requirements (such as minimum

scores on standardized pre-entrance examinations) may be necessary to ensure that students admitted have a reasonable chance of success in the program and on the NCLEX examination.

* Student characteristics identified by programs as leading to NCLEX failure include a high number of work hours, family commitments, English as a second language, and low admission points.

* In some cases, problems within the program, such as resignation of the program director, faculty turnover, inexperienced faculty, lack of knowledge regarding the NCLEX examination and/or test development, and increased use of adjunct faculty were noted as having an impact on the NCLEX pass rate.

Nursing education programs tend to take similar actions to address NCLEX pass rate concerns. Actions commonly taken by programs include:

o Initiating the use of an NCLEX predictor examination as a requirement in the program

o Requiring students to complete NCLEX review, tutoring, or other actions if the predictor examination score is low

o Increasing the minimum passing grade

o Providing faculty education in the areas of the NCLEX examination and test development skills

o Changing or increasing admission requirements

*Results of Survey of Nursing Education Programs *

In December 2002, a survey was sent to all state nursing education programs to identify the directors* perceptions of factors impacting the NCLEX pass rate and the actions taken by programs to address pass rate. Based on the data obtained from 50 respondents (an 86.2% return rate), the task force noted the following:

The majority of programs have minimum academic requirements for admission

Submitted by:

Robyn Knapp

Robyn Knapp
Pass the NET the first time with the NET Study Guide. Written by a nurse for nurses.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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