you MUST watch this BEFORE studying for or writing the NCLEX RN
Before writing or studying for the NCLEX be sure to read this document. It changes every year, it will give you an idea of what the test is made up of and how it is it. This is important because the NCLEX is not like any other exam you’ve written. There are major differences in the way they test people. Here is some important facts listed in the document. Feel free to read it yourself the link is below.
The NCLEX exam will test you on your ability to work through a nursing decision making process. That means you do not need to know ALL the theory in our med-surge or pharmacology textbook, but you need to know enough to be able to making a safe decision for the patient as a nurse. This is the ultimate skill of nursing that is required not just for the exam but also for practice. Whether you are an ICU, ER, CVICU, L&D or floor nurse, EVERY DAY you will make decisions based on this critical decision making process, which is what the NCLEX tests you on.
- Basically a philosophy that the test makers used when writing the exam. The reason for this is because nursing is a unique profession where theory needs to be applied in many different forms. There is no formula you apply to a person that will provide “healing”. To truly heal someone you are requires to apply theory knowledge in many different forms to unique characteristics of each and every person. This requires complex though processing which the NCLEX tests you on.
Four MAJOR categories of the NCLEX:
- Safe and Effective Care Environment
- Management of Care
- Safety and Infection Control
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Psychosocial Integrity
- Physiological Integrity
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
- Reduction of Risk Potential
- Physiological Adaptation
- This section is saying that there is a framework that is applied to each question.
- Nursing Process
- Communication and Documentation
- Culture and Spirituality
How they test: “Computer Adaptive Testing“
- Method of test delivery that uses computer technology and measurement theory.
- Each test is unique and is based on the needs of the test taker. If the test identifies you are weak in a section then it will keep asking you questions on that section until you meet the threshold of passing for that section. Then it will move onto the next section until you meet the threshold for that section etc.. until you eventually pass the exam.
- The 95% Confidence Interval Rule
- This scenario is the most common for NCLEX candidates. The computer will stop administering items when it is 95% certain that the candidate’s ability is either clearly above or clearly below the passing standard.
- Run-Out-Of-Time Rule (R.O.O.T)
- If the candidate has not answered the minimum number of required items, the candidate automatically fails.
- If at least the minimum number of required items were answered, the computer looks at the last 60 ability estimates
- If the last 60 ability estimates were consistently above the passing standard, the candidate passes
- If the candidate’s ability estimate drops below the passing standard even once over the last 60 items, the candidate fails. This does not mean that the candidate must answer the last 60 items correctly. Each ability estimate is based upon all previous items answered.
- This provides emphasis on answering questions that you TRULY have a good chance at getting right. Do not answer if you are completely unsure, make an educated guess, think of stuff you know that MIGHT be able to help you answer.. Think of nursing content that you could use to rationalize picking a correct answer.
- The 95% Confidence Interval Rule
- This way makes the test unique for everyone and also ensure that you have no “weak” areas, which makes sense… Imagine being weak on cardiac and a patient of yours has a heart attack.. That would be horrible for you and the patient.
Common Question Types:
The test plan website:
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