Selecting Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) to Participate in a Program of NCLEX-RN® Preparation

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Susan T. Sanders, DNP
Kaplan Nursing, Tullahoma, TN, USA

Purpose: Identifying appropriate IEN applicants to enter a prescriptive program of study to prepare for the NCLEX®-RN. The challenges for IENs to become licensed in the United States through the NCLEX®-RN have been chronicled in multiple publications. Squires (NYU, 2016) noted the decline in IEN pass rates on the NCLEX®-RN declined from 58% in 2004 to 32% in 2015. Language is one of the issues with IENs but cultural differences also create a gap in knowledge and/or ability to answer the NCLEX®-RN items (Richmond, 2013). Bosher and Bowles (2008) identified a 40% disparity in NCLEX®-RN pass rates despite academic performance.

Methods: A validation study will be conducted to determine admission into the prep program. In order to improve success rates for IEN on the NCLEX®-RN, a standardized test will be developed and administered to IENs. A score range will be established to determine recommended score(s) for successful completion of the NCLEX®-RN examination. Upon acceptance into the prep program a structured on-line course will be provided that includes content review, practice and standardized/benchmarked tests, language review, and a NCLEX®-RN review class will be offered to the students with appropriate entrance scores.

Results:  The prep program is in use at this time without the use of the screening test. To date, the current students consisted of an initial 4 cohorts of 46 students who have completed the prep and review with a resulting 56.5% pass rate on the NCLEX®-RN. The IENs enrolled in this prep course have been working with mentors and faculty to complete the components of the program while working as nurses in their current country of residence. The goal to become NCLEX®-RN licensed is a strong motivator for these nurses to complete the prep program.

Conclusion:  The hypothesis is that the student success rate will increase with the utilization of the screening test prior to admission into the prep program.