Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : Global Nursing Education Updates
Moving towards Evidence-Based Education: Using Research to Develop School of Nursing Program Policies
Mary J. Yoho, PhD, RN, Nursing, Elsevier Review and Testing, Houston, TX, USA and Leslie J. Pafford, RN, FNP, Nursing, Tomball College, North Harris Montgomery Community College District, Tomball, TX, USA.
Learning Objective #1: identify the need for schools of nursing to use research outcomes in the development of nursing program policies.
Learning Objective #2: identify strategies to select strong nursing applicants, decrease student attrition, and maintain NCLEX-RNŽ pass rates.

Evidence-based Education is becoming a standard for schools of nursing in the development of program policies.  Particularly challenging is the identification of admission criteria to select applicants who will successfully complete the nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN®.  One Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program is conducting research utilizing HESI (now Evolve Reach) Admissions Assessment (A²) exam, the custom Mid-Curricular (MC) exam, and the Exit Exam (E²) to drive policy development, select strong applicants, decrease student attrition, and maintain NCLEX-RN pass rates.

A descriptive longitudinal study design was used to examine the relationship of the scores of the HESI A² math ad reading comprehension exams to the MC, the MC to the E², and the E² to the NCLEX-RN, of their ADN program which uses an integrated nursing curriculum. The study included 139 students who took the HESI A², MC, E² and NCLEX-RN from August, 2002 through October, 2004. Students were required to complete mandatory remediation of content area weakness as identified on the MC.  Students also had mandatory remediation of content area weaknesses as identified on the E², and had to achieve a benchmark score of 850 for progression in the nursing program.  Findings indicated the A² reading comprehension scores were significantly related to the MC scores (r = .406; P = .001) and MC scores to the E² scores (r  = .279; P = .01).  The E² was 94.55% accurate in predicting NCLEX-RN success.

Due to the results of the study, the A² Grammar exam will considered as an admission criterion and will be studied to determine if a statistically significant relationship is detected among A² composite scores and student retention. The MC score is now counted at 5% of the second semester comprehension exam grade. Results of these policy changes based on research evidence will be discussed.