Friday, April 24, 2015

A Blueprint of the NCLEX-RN

The National Council Licensure Examination determines if it's safe to take the leap from education to practice by evaluating your intellectual progress via an application-analysis platform based on knowledge you acquired in nursing school. Simply put, critical thinking skills. 

The NCLEX-RN is organized to assess individual client needs by integrating each medical, surgical, paediatric, psychiatric, and obstetric knowledge. Questions range from, a majority of, multiple-response to fill-in-the-blank, hot spots, chart/exhibit and drag-and-drop. A minimum of 75 questions to a maximum of 265 questions will be assessed preluded by 15 non-consequential experimental questions used for examiner purposes in order to calculate future questions. For the text to be completed, the minimum (75) or maximum (265) amount of questions must be answered within a period of six hours.

NCLEX is divided into four major concepts and six subconcepts: 

  1. Safe and Effective Care Environment 
    1. Management of Care (17-23%)
    2. Safety and Infection Control (9-15%)
  2. Health Promotion and Maintenance
  3. Psychosocial Integrity
  4. Physiological Integrity
    1. Basic Care and Comfort (6-12%)
    2. Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies (12-18%)
    3. Reduction of Risk Potential (9-15%)
    4. Physiological Adaptation (11-17%)
The NCLEX consists of an integrated computer adaptive test (CAT) questing system. CATs begin with simple questions, but gradually becomes more difficult. As you progress through the CAT, the difficulty of your questions will oscillate based on the competency of your answer i.e. if you get a question wrong the following question will be easier rather than more difficult and vice versa.

Brass taxes: NCLEX is pass/fail—there is no other score. Results, however, will not be available at the time of exam: you'll be notified within 2-4 weeks following your test date with retesting permitted 45 days after the initial administration.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Canadian NCLEX Milestone

The Canadian version of the NCLEX-RN, the adaptive, computerized testing program brought in this year to assess the skills of Canadian nursing students, reached an impressive benchmark this week with it's 1,000th test taker. The test has been operational since January 5th, assessing the qualifications of registered nurses in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. 

The exam was selected to replace the older Canadian Registered Nursing Exam in 2012, but it wasn't until January of this year that the new testing regime began. The new format offers increased test security, accessibility, precise assessment and provides more timely results than the CRNE. The United States has been using the NCLEX-RN since 1994.

Anne Coghlan, the President of the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators believes the switch has been close to seamless. "The launch of the NCLEX-RN in Canada has gone extremely well," she said, "and it is very exciting to reach this milestone. Through the collaborative efforts of NCSBN and CCRNR, we are furthering our shared commitment to excellence in nursing regulation."

There are currently 10 other countries offering the NCLEX-RN test but Canada is the only country outside of the U.S. that uses it as a domestic licensing examination.

Students can take the exam at any Pearson Vue testing facility in the country or abroad. Permanent centers are located across Canada, but there is also temporary centers setup in February, June and October, for end of semester examinations.

Canadian nursing students can prep for the exam by enrolling in a NCLEX prep course. PRIMED Education currently offers classes in facilities across the country and online. These courses help nursing students practice for the exam, work through topics that they are struggling with and review core material. They are an excellent tool for first time NCLEX-RN test-takers or for students who will be repeating. Find out more at: