The Utilization and Effectiveness of the HESI E2 Exit Exam as a Graduation Requirement toward Increasing NCLEX-RNŽ Pass Rates in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Debra H Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN,
Nursing, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

Learning Objective 1: discuss the results of quasi experimental study on using the HESI exit exam as a graduation requirement.

Learning Objective 2: compare the results of pass rates from over 11,000 BSN students who took the HESI exit exam compared to other exit exams.

Due to a desire to better prepare BSN students for the NCLEX-RN® and to increase first-time pass rates, nursing programs across the US are using predictive testing to implement policies that require students to pass a standardized exit exam to graduate (National League for Nursing, 2010). The HESI E2 exit exam, which recommends a benchmark score to predict success on the NCLEX-RN®. A single high stakes exam can cause pronounced individual student personal and social stress (Spurlock & Hunt, 2008).

A quasi-experimental retrospective study was used to compare NCLEX-RN® first-time pass rates of BSN students who took the HESI E2 exit exam, other exit exams, or no exam. Also examined was whether or not a student was subjected to a graduation requirement using the HESI E2 exit exam and out the students held back, how many would have actually passed NCLEX-RN®.

The results of this study offers new information in that the HESI E2 exit exam has value in predicting failure on NCLEX-RN® when a motivator such as a graduation requirement is in place. Although this study did reveal that HESI E2 exit exam was accurate at predicting failure, nursing faculty are advised to consider the profound impact of a “high stakes” exam on a student’s livelihood.