Learning Objective 1: Explain how research can be used to identify early predictors of success on the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse(NCLEX-RN).
Learning Objective 2: Describe how research can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention to promote first-time success on the NCLEX-RN.
Nursing graduates enter a complex healthcare system requiring they master an ever-expanding knowledge base to provide safe, effective care. To enter practice, United States graduates, as those in other countries, must pass a specific examination. The change in the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) to higher passing requirements and computer-adapted testing has increased the challenge of passing this examination on first attempt. This study examined the effect of an intervention on comprehensive assessments by achievement level and degree status of graduating nursing students, and the relationship of these scores to the first-time pass rates on the NCLEX-RN. The relationships between student grades obtained in previous nursing courses, graduates’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the intervention and the impact of nonacademic factors were explored.
Computerized comprehensive assessments were administered to graduating seniors in proctored environments before and after students attended a customized Pre-NCLEX Review course. After graduation, candidates took the NCLEX-RN; their pass-fail status was reported to the school by the state. Surveys were sent to graduates who took the NCLEX-RN. Exam scores, demographic data, course grades were obtained from college records for students of one academic year.
The results for a sample of 110 revealed a significant increase between pretest and posttest scores (p<.000) for all subgroups; differences by achievement level and degree status were not significant. Regression analyses identified a beginning level nursing course as the best predictor of pretest and post test performance (R square = .450, .440, respectively). There was also a significant relationship between the posttest scores and NCLEX-RN outcomes (r =.334, p=.009). The descriptive statistics were reported for survey responses.
Targeted preparation and measures to address at-risk students can promote success on NCLEX-RN. The findings have implications for review of curriculum, instructional practice, and examination preparation within nursing programs.