What's the analogy of the NGN with a favorite Italian food?
How Jason Schwartz compares the Next Gen NCLEX to a pepperoni pizza
“The big question everybody has is, ‘Okay, Jason, how different is the [Next Generation NCLEX (NGN] exam from today's NCLEX?”
Jason Schwartz, Director of Outreach at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), was addressing the more than 1,300 attendees of a recent edition of “The ATI Talk,” when it came time for the Q&A portion of the session.
He gets asked this question so often that he’s developed an unusual analogy that clears up the issue for anyone — even if they aren’t a big pizza lover.
COMPARING THE NEXT GEN NCLEX TO … A PIZZA?
“Pretend today's NCLEX is the cheese pizza,” Schwartz began. (He added an aside: “I love to say if it were really a cheese pizza, students would finish faster and like it better.”)
Once his audience had the current NCLEX in their minds, he then asked them to imagine what food group the NGN would be if you compared the 2. “Is the NGN a hamburger? Spaghetti? A Caesar salad?” he queried.
“Nope. It is a cheese pizza with some toppings.”
In other words, the NGN simply has additional elements added on to the current version of the exam to help assess clinical judgment.
“More stays the same than is different,” Schwartz emphasized.
For example, the exam’s length isn’t changing; it will remain 5 hours. And the number of questions is only a few more than the current exam: 60-130 today and 70-135 on the NGN. “Not too different,” Schwartz said.
THE NEXT GEN NCLEX “TOPPINGS” ON THE CHEESE PIZZA
What is changing on the Next Gen NCLEX compared to the current version?
“Something I can be pretty definite on is the case studies. There will be three that count,” he said.
When he first started delivering presentations about the NGN and explained how the new case studies assess clinical judgment, people wondered whether the entire exam would be case studies.
Schwartz immediately began to set them straight, especially with his pizza analogy.
“Remember those pizzas?” he asked. “The overwhelming majority of items that your graduates will see on Next Generation NCLEX are from today's NCLEX. That's the cheese pizza."
They're going to also get 3 case studies, he added, which are like the toppings on the pizza.
He noted that students will face 2 more additions to the NGN: the bow-tie and the trend item types. “They're going to see some of those mixed in. Not too many,” he added.
“Fundamentally, it's today's NCLEX with some toppings.”
WILL THE PIZZA ANALOGY WORK IN EXPLAINING THE NGN TO YOUR STUDENTS? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.