Contemplative Practices, Self-Efficacy and NCLEX Success

Monday, 9 November 2015

Elizabeth Ann Fiske, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, CNE, PCNS-BC, NNP- BC
Department of Nursing, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA

There are a myriad of factors affecting NCLEX-RN® success. Academic success does not always translate into a passing NCLEX-RN® score. The majority of research related to NCLEX-RN® success focuses on academic predictors, either prior to entering a nursing program or during the program. There is less research available about non-academic predictors of success on the exam; however, some research has identified a correlation between self-efficacy and NCLEX-RN® success. In this presentation findings from a study exploring the relationships between contemplative practices, self-efficacy and NCLEX-RN® success will be discussed.

Students enrolled in an elective NCLEX-RN® preparation course were invited to participate in the study. Student activities in the course included typical self-review of content from previous courses, practice taking NCLEX-RN® style questions and writing NCLEX style questions. In addition, contemplative activities were added in each class session to foster self-efficacy. Centering exercises and/or guided imagery were used at the beginning of every class to help students de-stress and to focus on class. Students created affirmation pages for each other by simple writing down a positive trait or supportive phrase on a page for each student in the class. Difficult concepts such as self-sovereignty were introduced to the class through storytelling. Practical suggestions for interviews and beginning practice were interjected through stories. Students were given journals and were encouraged to write about some specific topics, such as why they wanted to become a nurse, and also to document their thoughts as they prepared for program completion. Students created vision boards as a means to focus on what they wanted to achieve. Data collected in this study includes student documentation of review of content, self-identification of topics requiring remediation, and evaluation of contemplative exercises. The ten-item General Self-Efficacy Scale was administered at the beginning of the semester and will be re-administered at the end of the semester. NCLEX-RN® pass or fail information will be supplied through the North Carolina Board of Nursing Report sent to our program.

In this presentation I will briefly discuss each of the contemplative strategies used, student perceptions of these activities and whether they contributed to increased self-efficacy. I will also briefly discuss the relationship between self-efficacy and NCLEX-RN® success. I will provide suggestions for use of contemplative strategies in classroom and clinical settings.