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What You Need to Know About the Next Generation NCLEX

Feb 22, 2021, 11:43 AM
<4-min. read> Every nurse educator is eager to know how to prepare for the Next Generation NCLEX. We provide some concrete tips.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO PREPARE?

Worried about this potential change? Don’t be. In an interview with ATI, Philip Dickison, PhD, RN, NCSBN Chief Officer of Examinations of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), said he's heard lots of stories about the Next Generation NCLEX that are incorrect. What is true? The test will launch in 2023. What else is true? We’ve got details from Dr. Dickison and NCSBN.Sheryl Sommer interviews Phil Dickison, NCSBN, at the ATI National Nurse Educator Summit in April 2018 about Next Generation NCLEX.

Specifically, NCSBN’s expert team of psychometricians and researchers are following 8 evidence-based steps:

1) DEVELOP THE CLINICAL JUDGMENT MODELNCSBN's CLINICAL JUDGMENT MEASUREMENT MODEL

NCSBN developed a Clinical Judgment Measurement Model (see at right) consisting of 5 interacting layers that illustrate the complex process of clinical judgment, including the context in which decisions are made.

2) CREATE ITEM PROTOTYPES

Measuring clinical judgment requires more unique item types than simple multiple-response questions with different scoring methodologies, including penalties for answers indicating a lack of clinical judgment.

3) TEST ITEM USABILITY

Students, nurses, and educators have been reviewing item prototypes to ensure they represent real-life clinical judgment scenarios.

4) COLLECT ITEM DATA

NCSBN added a “Special Research Section” with new item types for select students to voluntarily answer after completion of the current NCLEX (both RN and PN versions). Their responses don’t impact their scores but do provide valuable insight on question fidelity.

5) RESEARCH MEASUREMENT

Psychometricians have received thousands of results from the NCLEX “Special Research Section.” Ongoing analysis is helping to determine which item types accurately measure clinical judgment and nursing competence.

6) BUILD TECHNOLOGY

The new version of the exam will launch in 2023. Until then, the NCSBN building
the complex technology needed to support the new item types.

Download PDF.

7) PERFORM ALPHA/BETA TESTS

Multiple evaluations are necessary to compare test questions. NCSBN is scrutinizing every item type for those providing the highest accuracy.

8) LAUNCH NEW NCLEX-RN

An operational phase of testing and building item types will likely take 3-4 years. The new version will launch in 2023.


What Does Next Generation NCLEX Mean for You and Your Students?Faculty member talking with student.

NCSBN’s initiative is both exciting and anxiety-inducing. A new NCLEX means better evaluation of graduates’ readiness for the challenges of real-life nursing practice — and more difficult, in-depth questions that put pass rates at risk.

So, what can you do today to prepare for this potential new future? Look for products that help students sharpen clinical judgment and develop this critical skill. ATI offers a variety of tools to support these crucial objectives:

THE NCLEX EXPERIENCE

The new item types likely to appear on the Next Generation NCLEX will be unlike any that nursing students have previously encountered. ATI’s NCLEX Experience helps acclimate students to these new item types, which will be aimed at measuring, quantifying, and testing their clinical judgment skills.

The NCLEX Experience comprises an engaging tutorial and mini quiz to provide familiarity and build confidence in successfully answering the new item types on the actual NCLEX.

NURSE'S TOUCH, THE COMMUNICATOR 2.0

Developing effective communication skills goes hand-in-hand with developing sound clinical judgment.

Developing effective communication skills goes hand-in-hand with developing sound clinical judgment. One research study1 reported that, “Collaborative dialogue between students, educators, and clinical mentors as role models during nurse-patient interaction is a powerful learning tool in facilitating clinical judgment.”

ATI’s Nurse's Touch, The Communicator 2.0, uses simulation to help students develop these essential skills. Students interact with virtual humans in repeated engagements, so they can learn and practice communication techniques for those key conversations they will experience as nurses.

REAL LIFE CLINICAL REASONING SCENARIOS

ATI’s Real Life Clinical Reasoning Scenarios addresses vital issues.

Nurses who lack clinical reasoning skills make poorer nursing judgments: They have difficulty differentiating between acute problems and those needing immediate attention. These nurses often fail to detect impending patient deterioration. In addition, they often make inappropriate judgments, such as misidentifying a situation or using faulty logic. ATI’s Real Life Clinical Reasoning Scenarios is specifically aimed at addressing these vital issues.

The product’s computer-based simulations are designed to develop clinical reasoning, while its live-action videos create “emotional fidelity,” engaging students’ mental and emotional abilities. Its “Rational Mode” option provides immediate feedback to students after they make a decision. Students gain exposure to key clinical situations; learn from their errors and the consequences to improve future interactions; and advance their knowledge. Students are able to repeat scenarios until they achieve mastery.

To learn more about these new products, contact your account representative or a member of the ATI team.


New Item TypesStudent uses computer at desk.

The Next Generation NCLEX test will use a complex mix of item types that require nursing students to demonstrate their clinical judgment skills.

Item types being tested include:

  • Cloze
  • Extended drag-and-drop
  • Enhanced hot spot
  • Extended multiple response
  • Matrix/grid
  • Bowtie.

1 Anna C. van Graan, Martha J.S. Williams, Magdalena P. Koen Professional Nurses’ Understanding of Clinical Judgment: A Contextual Inquiry Health SA Gesondheid, Volume 21, December 2016, PP. 280-293


HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ITEM TYPES? ASK THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.