Implementing a standardized testing program: preparing students for the NCLEX-RN

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Jacobs, Phyllis M.
Koehn, Mary L.

Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 2006 Nov-Dec; 22(6): 373-9.


The undergraduate nursing faculty of a large Midwestern university initiated a program of standardized computerized testing for two purposes: to provide students experience with standardized computerized testing prior to taking the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and to increase the students' NCLEX-RN passing rate. This article chronicles the process of implementing a comprehensive testing program developed by the Assessment Technologies Institute (Overland Park, KS). Although the first class of students to have taken the entire testing package has just graduated, midprogram results have demonstrated potential as key indicators for identifying at-risk students. The trends in scores on standardized computerized tests, grades in prerequisite science courses, and grades in medical-surgical courses are used to identify students who are at risk for failure in the program and on the NCLEX-RN. Faculty advisors meet with these students to develop individual plans of study and to provide additional resources. The testing process is going on smoothly, and faculty members are learning to use the extensive information on students' test scores to further assist them in passing the NCLEX-RN.

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