Improving Student NCLEX-RN Performance in a 4-year University Nursing Program

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:20 AM

William T. Campbell, EdD, MS, RN
Department of Nursing, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD

Learning Objective 1: Identify 2 criteria to review in assessing reasons for poor student performance on the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

Learning Objective 2: List 2 changes to be implemented for improving the student performance on the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

Purpose. The NCLEX-RN first time pass rate at a 4-year baccalaureate nursing program at a Mid-Atlantic state university (73.33%) had fallen below the state’s required passing rate (77.6%). If this continued for a second year the school would be placed on the undesirable Conditional Approval by the state Board of Nursing. Improvement was required. An investigation was undertaken by the author to identify admissions and progression criteria that might be responsible.

Methods. Following a review of the literature, the study began with policy and policy change review, a review of other baccalaureate programs’ requirements in the state, and a faculty survey. Utilizing the current senior class, the study continued with a longitudinal study including pre-graduation/pre-NCLEX-RN and post-NCLEX-RN surveys, interviews with unsuccessful students, and a review of all academic grades for all the subjects. The study was structured to answer 6 research questions specific to the institution.

Results. After numerous reviews, surveys, interviews, and statistical analysis a list of interventions was developed. Most of these changes were adopted by the faculty after lengthy discussion , consideration, and/or revision.

Conclusion. The following year with only partial implementation showed some improvement (89.66%). However the year following the completion of the first cohort after the changes were fully adopted and implemented showed a drastic increase (95.45%), the highest first attempt baccalaureate program results in the state. Now after five years of full implementation the program still maintains the highest 5-year average in the state (95.29%).