Archive for the ‘New News in Nursing’ Category
Nursing Entrance Test, An Introduction
One of the biggest hurtles that aspiring nursing school students must face is the Nursing Entrance Test. This is a nationally standardized test that is administered prior to placing students on the long waiting list for nursing school. Even if the student has passed all the prerequisites required for admission, such as anatomy and physiology, English 131 and 132, Sociology, Pharmacology, and Chemistry, this doesn’t guarantee admission to nursing school.
Although there are required passing grades, of a C at the least, the Nursing Entrance Test must be passed to be put on the list for admission to nursing school. This is by far the most nerve racking test that students must face. The main reason for this anxiety is that many students have come into the test either unprepared or just overconfident. Unfortunately, the preparatory literature that is currently available does not do complete justice to covering all that is necessary for the Nursing Entrance Test.
Most of the prep books cover a plethora of topics associated with various exams offered in the many fields of health care. This is insufficient for the knowledge that is required for passing the Nursing Entrance Test. Those who feel that the test is simply a remedial exercise in review are surprised when they sit for the test, because many have forgotten some basic math and algebra principals. Unfortunately, there are those who have been away from school for such a long time that when they sit for the exam they do very poorly. Some students have never learned math skills efficiently enough to be able to apply them in a test setting. The key to remedy much of this stress is to provide those students that are going to be taking the test with materials that will prepare them for exactly what to expect in the same method that the test is administered.
There is another level of stress that has been added to the test recently. That is, that the student is now only allowed to fail up to three times. After which, the student can no longer enroll in the nursing program at that particular school. For instance, Henry Ford Community College has now adopted this rule. This is very annoying and frustrating to those students who have taken all of their prerequisites and are on their last chance. They are faced with having to transfer their credits to another nursing school program and take the test again at another school. This prolongs their admission to nursing school which is usually a two to three year wait at the minimum. Some students have opted to take a refresher math course. However, this is in no way a guarantee that they will pass the Nursing Entrance Test. Much of the math in a remedial math course is not sufficient to pass the Nursing Entrance Test.
To help the future nursing student avoid all of this unnecessary stress, the Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide has been developed. The Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide is a comprehensive review of the Nursing Entrance Test. It is set up exactly like the actual test, allowing the student approximately one minute per question (although for practice purposes they can take as long as they want), and three answers to choose from, and includes all of the content necessary to achieve a passing score. The Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide includes a complete tutorial in all of the math and reading comprehension that the student needs to assure that not only will they pass the Nursing Entrance Test, but pass with a score that is higher than the national average. Some schools require a passing score that may be higher than another school.
The developer of The Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide software, Dr. Nancy Lydia Kimmel devoted much time and effort in making sure that the student is well prepared. In this aspect, Dr. Kimmel has been able to help those aspiring to go to nursing school the advantage of being able to jump the greatest hurtle, passing the Nursing Entrance Test, the first time.
The Nursing Entrance Test Mathematical Content
The mathematical content that is tested in the Nursing Entrance Test consists of solving the following; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of mixed and improper fractions, manipulation of exponents, decimals and percentages, word problems, algebra problems including factoring, use of quadratic equation, slope of line, reading point coordinates from a graph, solving for variables in the first power and square roots. This may seem like a lot to someone who is hoping to go into the nursing field. However, this mathematical knowledge should be part of the repertoire for the student planning to take the Nursing Entrance Test.
For many preparing to take this test, trying to learn this from scratch may seem like a daunting task. Indeed, for those with minimal to no knowledge math this becomes a daunting challenge. Some students elect to take refresher math courses. These math courses are misnamed, in the fact that they are not so much a refresher course but a course that only covers certain aspects of the math that is tested on the Nursing Entrance Test. Depending on the teacher and the learning curve of the rest of the class, this may not help the student sufficiently. Many teachers adjust the content of the class based upon the percent of the class that has a difficult time comprehending the material. What this means is that if there is a majority of the class that is having a hard time with basic principals, then the teacher will not completely cover all that is required. This is unfortunate, because those who are picking up the material quickly are placed at an educational disadvantage and are not getting their moneys worth of education.
Time and time again, students have sought out new materials on the market to better prepare them for the Nursing Entrance Test, only to be given bits and pieces of information that is insufficient to pass with an acceptable score. Math is the enemy to many that wish to be nurses and is a source of dread when it comes to test performance. Much of this anxiety is due to insufficient preparation at the college and high school level. The population of new nursing students encompasses a wide age and educational disparity.
The typical nursing student is no longer the fresh high school graduate, or the young mother returning to school after her children reach preschool age. Now, nursing students come from many diverse backgrounds, such as engineers, teachers, computer technologist and people with masters and doctorates. Naturally, with so many degreed people entering the nursing field, the bar has been raised for the score needed to pass the Nursing Entrance Test at many nursing schools. This puts the typical nursing student at a disadvantage.
So, the question can be asked, what is the person to do about obtaining the skills necessary to pass the math on the Nursing Entrance Test? There is no simple answer. However the best answer is to study. Having the right tools is also necessary. One of the most helpful tools to achieve math proficiency on the Nursing Entrance Test, is in utilizing the software entitled, “The Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide”. This tutorial written by Dr. Nancy Lydia Kimmel, encompasses a comprehensive math review of all the concepts necessary to master in order to pass the Nursing Entrance Test with higher than national average scores. Dr. Kimmel has been a professor of engineering, math, physics and chemistry for over fifteen years and has had much experience developing tutorials to help those challenged by the sciences.
The Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide is presented in colorful Power Point slides to enhance the leaning experience for the reader. All three learning domains, audio, visual and written are targeted for the learners benefit. Dr. Kimmel starts out the tutorial with introducing how to add and subtract fractions that are proper, improper and mixed. The tutorial continues to increase in developing and review of math principals using examples and mini tests with complete explanations, until the learner feels that they have mastered the topics. Even if the learner has not had some math concepts formerly taught to them, this tutorial will assist them in mastering the skills. Dr. Kimmel’s software entitled, The Nursing Entrance Test Study Guide, has successfully helped many aspiring nursing students pass the Nursing Entrance Test the first time with high scores. It is Dr. Kimmel’s goal that the Nursing Entrance Test should not be a hindrance to those wishing to go to nursing school, but a stepping stone that they can confidently surpass.
If you have the desire to go into nursing, then you must first get ready to take the N.E.T., the HESI or the TEAS entrance test. You can begin preparing for your career by practicing your skills using the online tutorials and tests at The Nurses Learning Center. There are over 1000 questions and answers. You will get unlimited internet access, 24/7. It is yours to keep. New questions are added daily. It’s like sitting for the N.E.T., The HESI or the TEAS in your home.
Tags: HESI, hesi test, nursing entrance exam, teas test
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By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
This is the day that you will sit for your nursing boards, and take the NCLEX.. Be sure that you have you ATT, (Authorization To Test) form with you. You will not be able to test without this form. You will also need to present picture identification. Of course now is not the time to ask yourself if you have studied enough, but hopefully you have. Many people who sit for the NCLEX have fears that they have not studied enough. Read more »
Tags: nursing, Nursing boards, nursing school
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By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
Congratulations! So you finally passed your boards, and now you are a real Registered Nurse. How does it feel, to have passed the final test of all tests? Great? Absolutely! Now what? Well, to begin, you need to celebrate. There are many loved ones that are also looking forward to taking part in the celebration. Read more »
Tags: NCLEX, nursing, nursing school
Posted in New News in Nursing, So You Finally Passed The Nursing Boards | No Comments »
By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
Today is an exciting time for nurses. The job market is plentiful with positions including the demand for traveling nurses. To be a travel nurse takes a special person. The individual who is a travel nurse is one who likes to see new places and meet new people, face challenges with confidence and work as a team member. Being a travel nurse is not for everyone. Nurses who have family responsibilities may choose to work near their home. However, for those who like to travel and are very outgoing, being a travel nurse is a rewarding experience.
As an experienced nursing professional, you are in a truly unique position. Read more »
Tags: nursing, nursing jobs, nursing salaries
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By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
Many new graduate nurses are readily offered jobs prior to graduation. The positions that they are offered are usually those with the title graduate nurse or GN. For the most part, new graduates are looking for employment near their home. Since the general nursing student is now in their early to late thirties, they have already established a secure family base. While jobs for graduate nurses are plentiful it helps to have some idea of how many jobs are actually offered throughout the United States. The wonderful fact of being a nurse is that they can work just about anywhere.
The following information should be helpful in getting some idea of the pay for different nursing fields. Hospital Nurse Recruiters will inform the new graduate nurse that obtaining a bachelor degree in nursing is favored. Many hospitals will offer some form of tuition reimbursement for those nurses who seek to obtain a BSN degree. Tuition reimbursement can go as high as one hundred percent to fifty percent. For nurses who work in hospitals, there is a world of opportunity to move into many different nursing specialties. As the nurse gains more experience in their field, their salary will also increase. The salaries listed below are not all inclusive, but merely present to the reader a general idea of the salary range that exists. The reader should keep in mind that each hospital will be unique in what type of salary is offered depending on the nurses qualifications and prior work experience.
Just as you might think, large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago hold the top spots for the number of nursing jobs available. The larger cities also have higher salaries and better benefits for their nurses. The tradeoff is longer hours and more stress in large city nursing jobs versus the small community jobs where hours are usually better and the number of patients to serve is lower.
The median expected salary for a typical Staff Nurse – RN in *Detroit**, MI*, is *$65,817*. This basic market pricing report was prepared using our Certified Compensation Professionals’ analysis of survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at employers of all sizes, industries and geographies.
Staff Nurse – RN:
Evaluates, plans, implements, and documents nursing care for an assigned patient population. Assists physician during examinations and procedures. Performs various patient tests and administers medications within the scope of practice of the registered nurse. Promotes patient’s independence by establishing patient care goals and teaching patient and family to understand condition, medications, and self-care skills. Requires an associate’s degree and is certified as a registered nurse. Familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to a manager or head of a unit/department.
he current potential for advancement in the nursing industry is very promising for a registered nurse. Nursing is the largest single profession in the health care industry today. The saturation of nurses, however, has not had a negative effect on the demand in recent years.
This provides many nurses with an incentive to differentiate themselves from their colleagues to advance within the nursing industry.
Registered Nurse Salaries
Staff RNs working in the United States average a median base salary of $41,642. Half of all US RN’s are expected to earn between $38,792 and $44,869. Nearly 67% of nurses are employed in hospital inpatient and outpatient settings. 32% of all nurses are employed in medical offices and clinics, home healthcare agencies, nursing homes, temporary help agencies, academia, and government agencies. The big payoffs of any nursing career include a solid paycheck, reliable employment, and the immeasurable reward of helping others. Outside of these constants, though, the nursing field is spread along a wide spectrum of specialties, paradigms, and settings. These variables subdivide the industry into more measurable salary ranges. But other elements factor in as well:
* Region of practice
* Degree attainment
* Years of experience
* Public or private sector practice
RNs in specialties such as Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma medicine, Intensive Care Unit nursing, and OR and Recovery Room Nursing are at the higher end of the salary spectrum, while nurses in Home Health, Long Term Care, and Geriatric Nursing, are most typically at the lower end of the salary scale.
Tags: nursing, nursing salaries
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By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
In today’s economy with declining employment in many fields that require degrees, the profession of nursing is as solid as it ever was. People with prior degrees are looking to enter the nursing profession.
Nursing careers are appealing for many reasons. One positive aspect of nursing careers is the opportunity to serve others through medical treatment and rehabilitation. Nursing careers also boast a glowing job outlook that has consistently risen along with increasing demand for registered nurses. Plus, nursing careers offer a wide range of employment options within various sectors of the health care field. When you become a registered nurse, you open the door to a variety of nursing career paths, including forensic nursing careers, traveling nurse careers, and nurse coordinator careers.
The salary of a nurse varies greatly. There is really no base salary but a fluctuation across the board. The reasoning for this is a varied as the salaries in nursing.
The base pay of a nurse is determined by many different factors. The first of these factors are the years of experience that the nurse brings to the table. A GN or graduate degreed nurse will start out at the lowest salary of nurse pay. They will remain at this level until they pass their board exam or NCLEX. Upon passing their boards they will receive a small increase in pay anywhere from $2.50 per hour to $5.00 per hour. The most important factor in this scenario is to keep in mind that if the graduate nurse does not successfully pass the board exam the hospital can terminate their employment or extend to them a grace period in which they have the opportunity to pass the boards a second time. In the past years, it was not unusual for a graduate nurse to stay on as a hospital employee for years before finally passing or taking their boards. This practice is no longer widely accepted. Also the graduate nurse is not allowed to pass any medications until they have their licensure. The question remains, what is the typical base salary for a graduate nurse. It is safe to say that the salary ranges in the low to mid forty thousand dollars per year. This discrepancy of several thousand dollars has much to do with the location of the hospital. For instance, in rural communities where much of the hospital funding comes from the government, the pay rate may be higher or lower than a privately funded institution. The mitigating factor is how successful the grant writers are at tapping into government funds, and how much private endowment monies are bestowed to the hospital. Even with these two factors in place comes the process of dissemination of the funds. This is dependent on how the board of directors see fit to use the funds. These funds could be put to the construction of a new hospital wing, or to the purchase of new diagnostic equipment.
Whether or not the nurses are unionized is also another factor in entry level nurse pay. Unions can either work for or against nursing wages. Sometimes non-unionized hospitals pay more.
Shift premiums are also a factor. Read more »
Tags: nurse salaries, nursing, nursing jobs
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It has been predicted that the baby boomer generation will be the most effected by the changes health care system with regard to nursing care. The current health care system is in a state of flux. With insurance companies constantly raising rates and premiums, and the hospital stays becoming less frequent, the end result is that health care must extend to the home.
Looking down the barrel of a world wide pandemic, comes the news that there are 135,000 unfilled nursing positions in the United States. By 2015, this number is expected to go to be 683,000 unfilled positions.
Two main reasons are given for these shortages:
1. Nursing hours are long, difficult and stressful
2. There is a huge shortage of nursing faculty.
We are running out of nurses to teach prospective nurses.
The impact of this new era of home care will have various effects on the population that is served. Although it is true that home care has been in existence for almost as many years as the profession of nursing itself, the amount of clients that home care now serves is quite a bit larger than the past as well as more medically demanding. What this situation implies for the nursing profession is a larger responsibility in ensuring that clients who are discharged within one to two days receive the necessary teaching and follow up nursing care to ensure progressive healing and a maximum return to wellness.
In order to help ensure the goal for the client after discharge, the hospital nurse must be acutely aware of what the clients teaching needs will be from the time of admission.
Immigration issues are adding to the shortage of nurses. There is a 6 year wait for nurses to be allowed to come here legally. Several acts are before congress to help speed along the immigration process for those who want to come here to practice medicine. Currently, the only thing stopping new nurses coming here is red tape. Many are standing in line, but the line doesn’t seem to be moving. If something doesn’t change, we can expect to face severely diminished nursing care in the very near future.
The big payoffs of any nursing career include a solid paycheck, reliable employment, and the immeasurable reward of helping others. Outside of these constants, though, the nursing field is spread along a wide spectrum of specialties, paradigms, and settings. These variables subdivide the industry into more measurable salary ranges. But other elements factor in as well:
- Region of practice
- Degree attainment
- Years of experience
- Public or private sector practice
- Staff RNs have dozens upon dozens of specializations from which to choose. Each specialty has a distinctly different salary range that also varies from region to region, metropolitan to suburban or rural, and from public to private healthcare practice. Associate degree RNs earn anywhere from $ 53,000 to $63,000 on a scale of national averages that spans specialties. However, there may be wide disparities outside this margin.RNs in specialties such as Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma medicine, Intensive Care Unit nursing, and OR and Recovery Room Nursing are at the higher end of the salary spectrum, while nurses in Home Health, Long Term Care, and Geriatric Nursing, are most typically at the lower end of the salary scale.
Tags: nursing jobs, nursing salaries
Posted in New News in Nursing, Nursing Jobs are on the Rise | No Comments »
By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
Since the days of Florence Nightingale, the profession of nursing has been viewed as a career consisting of self sacrificing individuals who, with caring and compassion have devoted their lives to easing the pain and suffering of those in need. Such noble and honorable individuals would surely never strike for what ever reason, right? Wrong! So, what has happened over the centuries to the profession of nursing?
To begin to understand what has taken place in the arena of nursing, one needs to understand what the nurses of today are faced with in the hospital settings. First, many nurses are required to care for more patients than they can handle safely. This is to say that a patient care load of seven on a medical surgical unit can go up to eleven during the afternoon and midnight shift. Depending on the acuity (level of care needed) of the clients, the nurse may not be able to safely attend to all of the clients needs, and need to forego certain aspects of care just to be able to get the majority of their responsibilities completed by the next shift.
This situation of patient overload can result in very serious health consequences for the patient and ultimately, death. The direct consequence of patient neglect for the nurse involved would usually entail a law suite being filed by the family naming the nurse and the hospital as well. Patient overload is just one of the many reasons that nurses have sought to form a coalition and be represented by their own organizations.
Another reason for nurses to organize is due to the policy of pulling nurses to other floors where the patient acuity care process requires specific knowledge to be able to practice safely as a nurse. An example would be a maternity floor nurse being pulled to a medical surgical floor and being assigned a patient load consisting of newly admitted pre-operative patients and others that require suctioning and vent care. The maternity floor nurse would not only be unsafe to work on the medical surgical floor, but could also put patient’s lives in jeopardy due to her inexperience. So, what is that nurse supposed to do if they decide to decline being pulled to another floor? Many nurses feel that they may be reprimanded by the shift supervisor and perhaps written up for insubordination. But are they not in fact, declining for a valid reason? Also, shouldn’t quality patient care be the utmost priority as well as patient safety? The answer to both of these questions is of course a resounding, YES! However, many nurses are faced with these dilemmas day in and day out. They leave at the end of the day feeling as if they haven’t been able to give proper nursing care. They would be correct. It is an unsafe practice to float nurses that are unfamiliar with a particular floor to work there. The fact is, that it is done on a regular basis. Would this be a sufficient reason to strike? Many nurses think so. The list could go on and on. How safe would you feel with a nurse caring for a loved one who was on the sixteenth hour of a double shift? Not very, right? Approximately 60% of nurse in practice are providing care in hospitals (Work-Place issues, 2005)
In 1946, the American Nurses Association’s House of Delegates unanimously approved a resolution that opened the doors to nurses to engage in collective bargaining. Then about thirty years later the legal precedent that determined that state nursing associations are qualified under labor law to be labor organizations is the 1979 Sierra Vista decision. The important consequence that affected nurse was that they were free to organize themselves and not be organized by existing unions. Currently, it is the American Nurses Association that is in the forefront of establishing coalitions and bargaining for nurses nation.
The Patient Safety Act:
What the Bill Does
It protects patients safety
- The Act calls for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop and implement limits on the number of hospital patients assigned to Registered Nurses in Massachusetts. The limits would be based on scientific research and testimony from public hearings. Once established, the staffing levels would be adjusted in accordance with patient needs and requirements using a standardized, DPH-approved acuity system. An acuity system provides a means of measuring the illness level of the patients on a particular unit and their needs for care.
- These scenarios represent just an overview of why the nursing profession has sought to organize themselves into a union status.
“It is time for a new generation of leadership to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won.” – John F. Kennedy
Zerwekh, J.,Claborn, J.(2006).Nursing Today Transition and Trends.
(5th ed). St. Louis: Saunders
The Coalition to protect Massachusetts Patients, P.O. Box 309 Canton Massachusetts 02021 617.731.2813
Tags: nursing, nursing salaries, nursing school
Posted in Do you want a Union?, New News in Nursing | No Comments »
By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
NCSBN (National Council of the State Board of Nursing) does not have established guidelines for graduating students as to when to register. However, registering for the NCLEX examination and licensure during the month of the student’s graduation is common. Note that registering to take the examination and applying for licensure to a state board of nursing are two different processes.
Please keep in mind all NCLEX examination registrations will remain effective for a 365-day time period during which a board of nursing may determine the candidate’s eligibility. The time limit begins when the board of nursing receives the candidate’s registration from the test service. Candidates who are not made eligible by their board of nursing within the 365-day time period will forfeit their registrations, including the candidate registration fee. Candidates who wish to take an NCLEX examination will need to re-register, including repaying the examination fee, in order to receive an examination.
Students can register for the NCLEX examination and pay the $200 by credit card by calling Pearson VUE at 866.496.2539 or register via the Internet at www.pearsonvue.com/nclex.
1. Apply for licensure to the board of nursing in the state or territory where you wish to be licensed. Contact the state board for the requirements.
2. Register for the NCLEX examination with Pearson VUE by mail, telephone or via the internet.
o The name with which you register must match exactly with the printed name on the identification you present at the test center.
o If you provide an e-mail address when registering for the NCLEX examination, all subsequent correspondences from Pearson VUE will arrive ONLY BY E-MAIL. If you do not provide an e-mail address, all correspondences from will arrive only through U.S. mail.
o All NCLEX examination registrations will remain open for a 365-day time period during which a board of nursing may determine your eligibility to take the NCLEX examination.
o There is no refund of the $200 NCLEX registration fee for any reason.
3. Receive Confirmation of Registration from Pearson VUE.
4. Receive eligibility from the state board of nursing you applied for licensure with.
5. Receive Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson VUE.
If more than two weeks have passed after you have submitted a registration for the NCLEX examination and received a confirmation from Pearson VUE, and you have not received an ATT, please call Pearson VUE.
o You must test within the validity dates of your ATT. These validity dates cannot be extended for any reason.
o The printed name on your identification must match exactly the printed name on your ATT. If the name with which you have registered is different from the name on your identification, you must bring legal name change documentation with you to the test center on the day of your test. The only acceptable forms for legal documentation are: marriage licenses, divorce degrees and/or court action legal name change documents. All documents must be in English and must be the original documents.
6. Schedule an appointment to test by visiting www.pearsonvue.com/nclex or by calling Pearson VUE.
o To change your appointment date:
o For exams scheduled on: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, call Pearson VUE at least 24 hours in advance of the day and time of your appointment.
o For exams scheduled on: Saturday, Sunday and Monday, call Pearson VUE no later than Friday at least 1 full business day in advance of the time of your appointment.
7. Present one form of acceptable identification and your ATT on the day of the examination.
o The only acceptable forms of identification in test centers in the U.S., American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Virgin Islands are:
o U.S. drivers license (not a temporary or learners permit)
o U.S. state identification
o For all other test (international) centers, only a passport is acceptable. All identification must be written in English, have a signature in English, be valid (not expired) and include a photograph. Candidates with identification from a country on the U.S. embargoed countries list will not be admitted to test.
o You will not be admitted to the examination without acceptable identification and your ATT. If you arrive without these materials, you forfeit your test session and must re-register; this includes re-payment of the $200 registration fee.
Receive your NCLEX examination results from the board of nursing you applied for licensure with within one month from your examination date. Under the guidance of its membership, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN) develops and administers two national nurse licensure examinations; the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN.) and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN.). These two examinations are used by all U.S. state and territorial Boards of Nursing to test entry-level nursing competence of candidates for licensure as Registered Nurses and as Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses. The NCLEX examinations are provided exclusively as (CAT) computerized adaptive tests.
Several steps must be completed before a nurse can safely enter the profession. These typically include: Graduation from an accredited nursing program Meeting specific requirements of the state board of nursing Passing the National Counsel of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) NCLEX examination for registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs)
About the Test
The NCLEX examination is designed to test knowledge,skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry level. NCLEX results are an important component used by boards of nursing to make decisions about licensure. Only boards of nursing can release NCLEX examination results to candidates.
The NCLEX examination is administered in the United States, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The NCLEX examination is also administered internationally at Pearson Professional Centers. For a complete list of international test centers go to www.pearsonvue.com/nclex or http://www.ncsb.org/. The CAT (computerized adaptive test) type test adapts to your skill level. The first questions that are presented to you are determining your ability level. Once your ability level is determined, the questions are presented in increasing level of difficulty/decreasing difficulty until you have answered enough questions for the computer to determine (with 95% statistical certainty) that you have met the passing standard. The minimum number of questions you will have is 75 (60 questions plus 15 pilot items). You will not be able to distinguish pilot items from “real” items. SO, if you get 265 items, that means the computer has not yet determined that you have met the passing standard at the 95% confidence level. There is no random number of candidates that get the exam with 265- that is a myth. The test is now 6 hours long (up from 5), and you should take your time. Rushing through the questions will most likely lead to failure, because each one you get wrong due to guessing means the next question is easier, and then on and on, until you fail because you are guessing at them all. Take your time to think each question through and choose the best answer. NCLEX is given throughout the US and its territories, so the same format is used and the same question bank is used across the US. You’ve studied hard, finished most of your clinical experience and now you’re ready for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX examination), often referred to as the “State Boards.” The State Boards exam is the culmination of all the hard work you completed in nursing school. The purpose of the exam is to test and ensure the knowledge, skills and abilities for safe, competent practice in the field of nursing.
Who needs to take the NCLEX examination?
At the completion of nursing school, all graduates are required to take the NCLEX examination in order to practice as an entry-level licensed RN or LPN in the United States. The registration process begins near the end of your final year in nursing school. At that time you will receive an application to take the NCLEX examination. It must be filled out and returned to the Board of Nursing in the state in which you expect to practice as a nurse.
Preparing for the NCLEX examination
If you’ve graduated from nursing school, you possess all of the knowledge you need in order to pass the NCLEX examination. It’s easier than you think; all you have to do is review the material you haven’t seen in a while. The trick to passing is starting the review process immediately following your final exams when the information is fresh in your mind. Learn all you can about the test particulars and ways to assure a passing score.
Getting test results
You will be notified of your NCLEX examination results by mail within 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the distribution procedures for the state in which you applied. If you are successful, expect to receive a sheet of paper notifying you of your passing score. If you did not pass the exam, expect to receive a diagnostic profile that describes overall performance in each section of the exam. Keep in mind that you must wait three months before applying to retake the NCLEX examination. If you want faster results, you can use the NCLEX Quick Results service. Results are available by phone three days after taking the NCLEX examination. Call (900) 328-8378 and follow the prompts. There is a $7.95 charge.
Results are also available online. The $7.95 charge still applies and you will need your user name, password and a credit card.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing operates the NCLEX examination Quick Results service. This service is currently available in 38 states: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia-PN, Georgia-RN, Illinois, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas (VN only), Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia (PN only), Wisconsin and Wyoming.
If you did not take the test in one of these states, you cannot get your unofficial results using the Quick Results service. If you have questions about this service, call the National Council of State Boards of Nursing at (866) 293-9600.
Tips on Test Taking
(1) Watch out for the words: except, always and not in all NCLEX questions.
(2) Answer each question. You are not penalized for taking an educated guess.
(3) Get a good night’s sleep before the NCLEX.
(4) Wear layered clothing to the exam.
(5) Practice with a watch and bring a watch to the test.
(6) Study for each material section of the NCLEX individually.
(7) If you extremely weak in one area of content focus on that area.
(8) Don’t cram for the NCLEX. Read over a good practice study guide at least one week in advance.
(9) Stay away from negative talk about the NCLEX with other students.
(10) Know the route to the testing center,
(11) Double check that you have the appropriate ID prior to the NCLEX test.
(12) Work through several practice tests prior to the exam.
Tags: NCLEX, nursing, Nursing boards
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By Nancy Lydia Kimmel R.N., Ph.D., C.H.M.M.
In considering going into the nursing profession, there are a few priorities that are crucial to determining future success.
When individuals look at all of the criteria it becomes clear which schools would be a better choice. The first criteria that many people face when going back to school is financial. Some of the factors that need to be considered about the school are for instance, how much will it cost per credit hour? Cost per credit hour depends on the school, whether or not it is accredited, a community college, a private college or a four year university.
The other criteria for determining which nursing school to attend, is of course whether or not one can obtain financial aid. Financial aid is available for many that are in the working class.
There are also Federal loans that can be obtained with very low interest rates. It would be considered a wise step to visit the financial aid office of a college or university near ones home to find out about the availability of government funding.
The next criterion, which may or may not be important for some, is the vicinity of the nursing school. For many whom work and plan to attend school, the closer the school’s location the easier the commute. In this society of multitasking, the closer that work, home and school are to one another the better.
Also, gas is now a real concern. Driving fifty miles may not have been a deterrent to some a few years ago, but certainly with the cost of fuel now days; it has become a real deterrent to many.
Along with the schools vicinity, one needs to look at whether or not the nursing school is accredited. If someone is considering obtaining an Associates Degree in Nursing from a non accredited nursing school, then if they decide to go on to their Bachelors of Nursing, they will find that they cannot continue. The reason for this is due to the following; an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, requires and accredited degreed Nursing Program from the two year Associate Degreed Nurse.
What this imples is that the two years Associate Degreed Nurse who graduated from a non accredited nursing school will not be able to transfer in their nursing courses to the four year university. This may be a real stumbling block to those nurses who wish to go on for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
It is also important to know how the nursing school graduates perform on the NCLEX®, the National Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. When there is only a forty or fifty percent passing rate on schools National Boards, this should raise a red flag for the prospective nursing student. There is no greater disappointment then failing the boards on the first time around. Many hospitals will hire graduate nurses prior to their sitting for the national boards, on the premise that if they fail their national boards, one of two things will take place;
1. their job as graduate nurse with the hospital will be terminated,
2. they will be demoted to a lesser position with less money,
3. they will be demoted to a lesser position with less money and be offered a second chance with a specified time frame to sit for the national boards once more.
None of the previous scenarios is an attractive option to any graduate nurse. Therefore the percentage of students that pass the boards at a particular school should also be included in the criteria for choosing a particular nursing school. However, do not judge the school too harshly on their rate of students who do or do not pass the national boards. The reason for this is due to the fact that some schools require a high grade point average, such as a four point zero just to get into the nursing program. This requirement will of course skew the results of passing scores in favor of those with higher grade point averages. These criteria will of course preclude many from even entering the nursing program, since many students are not four point zero in academics. Generally speaking, an average of seventy percent and above passing rate on the national nursing boards is a good predictor of the nursing school. But, it is up to the individual as to how much time and effort is put into the program as to how much they get out of the program. The nursing programs in general are very physically demanding, time consuming and mentally challenging. It is a very serious profession and there are those who find out that the field of nursing is not for them very early in the program. The best advice to those deciding on which nursing school to attend, is to use the above mentioned criteria only as a guide, because it will be up to the individual how well they do in the final analysis.
Tags: nursing, nursing school
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