Blog

The “Application or Higher” Dilemma in the Era of Next Generation NCLEX

Writing test items for a faculty-made test is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that a faculty member faces. In Critical Thinking in Test Item Writing, Morrison, Nibert, and Flick (2006) emphasize the importance of crafting a test item that requires test-takers to at least apply content in order to correctly answer the question. This recommendation reflects the National Council of State Board of Nursing’s policy that all NCLEX test items require cognition at the application level or higher. Yet, we all know how difficult it is to develop test items that correspond to the upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Behavior. 

Continue reading “The “Application or Higher” Dilemma in the Era of Next Generation NCLEX”

Next Generation NCLEX: The Importance of Cues

Given the buzz around Next Generation NCLEX (NGN), you probably already have a good understanding of what NGN is and what you can be doing now to start preparing for this increased focus on clinical judgment. (If not, check out our recent articles on these topics.) This month we will drill down into the use of cues as a means of providing opportunities for nursing students to practice clinical judgment throughout their educational experience.

Continue reading “Next Generation NCLEX: The Importance of Cues”

Next Generation NCLEX: What should we be doing now?

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Nurse educators involved in RN pre-licensure programs are waiting with bated breath for updates on the progress of the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) project, designed to develop more sophisticated methods to assess the ability of candidates to effectively use clinical judgement to care for patients. (See an overview of this project here and complete information from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing here.) 

Continue reading “Next Generation NCLEX: What should we be doing now?”

Next Generation NCLEX (NGN): A Brief Summary

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Does the NCLEX-RN™ Examination measure the knowledge, skills, and abilities newly graduated pre-licensure nurses need in order to practice safely in the rapidly evolving practice environment?  This was the question the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)’s NCLEX Examination Committee asked the Examination staff in 2016, stimulating an extensive research project to determine the ability of current and potential innovative test items to adequately test nursing clinical judgment. Continue reading “Next Generation NCLEX (NGN): A Brief Summary”

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN and Cathy Converse

Business and professional literature is replete with discussions of skills and competencies necessary to be a good leader. The discussion frequently includes both “hard” and “soft” skills and the relative importance of each. Hard skills, often obtained through formal education, are particularly helpful in an environment where the rules for using these skills are constant.  Conversely, soft skills, often self-taught, may vary depending upon the environment in which they are practiced. Continue reading “The Hard Truth About Soft Skills”

Why Effective Assessment is Important to Student Success

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Assessment, the starting point to an effective clinical judgment, is an important competency of nurses and other health care providers. When caring for patients, we use a wide range of assessment techniques, including review of the presenting complaint; health history; complete physical assessment; and family, social, and cultural history, to collect sufficient data to plan patient-centered care.  However, we all know that in certain clinical situations, a complete assessment is not an appropriate strategy, because of the patient’s condition and/or limited time and resources available.  In those situations, a focused assessment that delves into a specific identified problem or issue is more appropriate. Continue reading “Why Effective Assessment is Important to Student Success”

Analyzing the Problem: The First Step in Improving NCLEX First-Time Pass Rates

by Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

The final results of first time NCLEX-pass rates are in—and you and your nursing faculty colleagues are concerned.  There has been a significant drop in the first-time pass rate of your program compared to the year before.  Inconsistent pass rates have occurred for the last ten years.  What can be done? Continue reading “Analyzing the Problem: The First Step in Improving NCLEX First-Time Pass Rates”

Faculty Development: Is it Important?

By Susan Sportsman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.” ― Julia Child

A core belief of nursing educators is that a life of professional inquiry is an essential component of a successful nursing career. Standards promulgated by nursing professional organizations speak to life-long learning. Many state nurse practice acts and certification bodies require documentation of Continue reading “Faculty Development: Is it Important?”

How to Market Yourself…And Why

By Cathy Converse (Bailey)

I spent over 20 years working in marketing for a major corporation. So you’d think I’d make marketing myself a priority, and that I’d be good at it.

However, when I needed to make a major career transition a few years ago, I realized that I was not at all prepared. I’d been so busy marketing other things—products, services, even people—that I hadn’t thought much about marketing myself. When I most needed it, I was unprepared to put my professional skills to work on my own behalf. Continue reading “How to Market Yourself…And Why”

Student Engagement and the Brain

By Susan Sportsman, RN, PhD, ANEF, FAAN

An idea gaining momentum in nursing education over the last decade or so suggests that student engagement promotes success in school, on the NCLEX examination, and ultimately in practice. In response to the resulting “Flipping the Classroom” mantra, most of us have instituted some level of active learning into our classrooms as a means of encouraging student engagement. Despite grumbling from some students (“Why do we have to teach ourselves?”), these approaches have often seemed effective—at least for many students.

As I talk to faculty from across the country, I hear Continue reading “Student Engagement and the Brain”