Archive for March, 2008
By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
Preparing for the national boards begins as soon as a nursing student begins nursing school. Licensure as a Registered Nurse is granted upon a student passing the national boards or NCLEX. Passing scores are based on the amount of questions that the nurse gets correct in relation to the national average. Therefore there is no discrete passing grade. The fact that nursing students are started on licensure testing preparation so early into their curriculum is a testimony to those nursing schools with the highest and most numerous passing scores. Choosing a nursing school should be based on credentialing and the schools success rate of passing the national boards. Certain schools that are not accredited will be able to graduate nurses with an Associate Degree in Applied Science. However, graduates from these unaccredited schools will not be able to continue to their bachelors in nursing at an accredited university. The same is to be said of diploma nurses.
Passing the national boards is the final culmination of all of the work a student nurse has put into nursing school. The methods of teaching and the type of questions students have to answer throughout nursing school are structured to help them pass the boards. Board exam preparation classes are also mandatory toward the end of the nursing curriculum. These NCLEX preparation classes are offered for a period of four consecutive eight hour days. There is no extra charge to the students for this preparation. These classes are usually administrated a few days after graduation from the program. This intensive preparation is not only helpful to the students to successfully pass the boards, but boosts the schools standing and credentialing as well.
As to whether or not students should seek out extra tutoring for the national board exam is entirely up to the student, and depends on how much extra remediation they feel that they need to increase their comfort level. Many nursing students complain about the way that questions are worded in their nursing school exams. Instructors will always explain that the reasoning for this is to help the students develop the analytical thought process necessary to pass the boards. The most helpful study tools for nursing school exams as well as the national boards are the NCLEX study guides. As students use these guides continuously they develop the mind set to answer similar questions posed to them in class and on boards. There are numerous NCLEX guides on the market. It is up to the student to find the one that helps them the most. Using more than one guide can also help a student learn to critically think about questions. The student should consult with their nursing department and nursing instructors as to which of the guides out there will give them the best test preparation. Some teachers will offer students a private tutoring session for NCLEX review. The student would be encouraged to take advantage of any nursing instructor willing to help students out on their own time, even for a fee. These types of instructors care about their students and want them to be successful.
There are also computerized tests that nursing students must take in order to graduate. These tests are online and they are timed. The nursing student’s grade on these tests is not added in to their class grade. These tests are a separate entity altogether. The purpose of these tests is to measure the student’s competency in each of the fields of nursing curriculum and compare their scores with other nursing students from their school as well as with the rest of the nation. The student gets a print out of their results upon completion of each competency test. The school also gets the score and keeps a record of those students who did not pass as well as those who did. Those students that did not pass the exams are instructed to repeat the test again until they receive a passing score. The scores are listed by a number and if the student scores at a level that is termed, /”unsafe”, /then the student must retake the exam. Those students who do not take these online exams seriously are surprised that when it comes close to graduation they are prevented from graduating because they did not finish or repeat the tests with a passing score.
Nursing school is stressful right at the starting gate and keeps up the pace up until graduation. All of this constant bombardment with nursing tests and computerized competency tests are designed to assist the student pass the national boards.
Tags: nursing, nursing school
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Are you considering a nursing school scholarship? Great! Then, this is your first step to achieving your goal. Find out what types of scholarships are out there. The internet is a good place to start. The information highway is certainly a cornucopia of information. But be careful to review where certain websites get their information. Not everything you read on the internet is a fact. However, it is still a good place to begin to get a feeling for what types of scholarships are out there. Many people that are going into the nursing field are older than those who attended nursing school twenty or thirty years ago. With the older group of students, many feel that they just don’t qualify for scholarships. Actually the reverse is true. There are many scholarships out there for people that are older. Some scholarships are even bestowed on some just because of their age. This is indeed a wonderful country that we live in. The careful planner can certainly plan their finances for nursing school without having to pay anything back when they graduate, or very little if that. Before we look at some of the nursing scholarships that are out there, let us first look at the professional nursing organizations that participate in many of the scholarships offered, and serve as excellent reliable resources for the pre-student nurse, the student nurse, and the graduate nurse. Here is a list of the following nursing organizations, you may want to take some time later and look into the background of each of these organizations. You will find it very enlightening and encouraging.
You may not consider yourself eligible, but you will be surprised to find that there are nursing scholarships out there that are just for you. When considering a career in nursing, most of seek out financial aid only to find the resulting funds are usually never sufficient. This is the reason that scholarships were created. You have a specific ethnicity that predisposes you to a number of scholarships. Many people wonder if you get a nursing scholarship, can you apply for another. The answer is yes, you can apply for as many scholarships as you want. Whether or not you will get them depends on a number of factors. Some of which are, have you filled out the proper forms, submitted the correct documents, and have the necessary qualifications. These are all factors which must be looked at carefully when applying for a nursing scholarship. If you follow to the letter all of the requirements then you should have no trouble obtaining a scholarship for nursing school.
1. American Nurses Association or (ANA), is the nationally known professional organization for nurses in America. The functions of the American Nurses Association are many. Their goals are to foster high standards of practice, engage in lobbying in Congress and the House of Representatives on behalf of Nurses, to help pass laws that sustain and promote the respect, pay, retirement, benefits, responsibilities, and proper treatment of nurses in America. This is no small task. Which is why all nurses are encouraged to join the American Nurses Association. By doing so, each nurse is helping not only their own futures but futures of other nurses to come. The American Nurses Association also gives scholarships You may find them on the internet at their web address: www.ana.org You can find much up to date and reliable information on the nursing scholarships that are offered, as well as a lot of other pertinent information that will be useful in deciding on a career in nursing.
2. National Student Nurses Association, (NSNA)
This particular organization represents all nursing students from those in the Associate Degreed Nurse Program all the way to those Nurses who are obtaining their Doctorate in Philosophy. This is the type of nursing organization that is the grass roots of nursing organizations. What that means is, that the National Student Nurses Association is a integral part of the student nurses journey through nursing school. At every nursing school there will be flyers and on campus activities sponsored by the National Student Nurses Association. Be sure to look closely at all of the paper work on the desk for students in the nursing office, so you won’t miss the scholarships that this organization offers. The smell of fresh baked cookies and brownies are usually always a sight for sore eyes when walking into the nursing division. You can’t help but not see the large banner, entitled “National Student Nurses Associations Bake Sale”. It is these same bake sales that raise money for scholarships for those in need. Way to go NSNA. They also have a web site. Their web address is: www.nsna.org Check it out to find out about scholarships.
Here are a couple of other organizations that you might want to check out as well: 3. National League for Nursing
4. American Association of Colleges of Nursing
5. International Council of Nurses
6. Sigma Theta Tau International
7. Specialty Nursing Organizations
Tags: nursing, nursing school, nursing school scholarships
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