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ASSESSMENT--consists of a collection of data.

Baseline information for pre and post procedures is included. Also included the recognition of pertinent signs and symptoms of health problems both present and potential. Verification of data and confirmation of findings are also included. Assess a situation before doing an intervention.

Assessment Plan:

Indicate? Who? Will be assessed (which classes or sample of students)? What? Will be assessed and what will be expected for "passing" so people unfamiliar with the program can begin to understand the expected. Indicate? When? The assessment will take place. Describe? How? Is the research is designed to be scientific. Assessment of programs will take place at the end of a program, perhaps in the last course of the program or through a state test. The results of the assessment can be analyzed in the following semester to determine changes in the program.

We have been experiencing declining pass rates for the past two years on the national certification exam that our Registered Nursing graduates take. We have beginning assessment data to help diagnosis our declining NCLEX-RN results. The declines are in specific areas, with a significant decline in the area of Health Promotion and Maintenance and a lesser decline in Physiological Adaptation. Statistically, both of these are significant enough to be a primary cause of the low NCLEX pass rates. We have also identified specific problem content areas

This refers to the range of structures available to the candidate and how accurately and appropriately s/he can use them. Assessment takes into account the length and complexity of utterances as well as the effect of grammatical errors on communication.

NCLEX Test information

You should answer NCLEX questions using "book" knowledge and not practical experience. On the NCLEX hospitals operate on massive budgets and no expense is spared to provide proper care. NCLEX test writers are covering all their bases and focus on patient care that is sometimes unrealistic in today's healthcare

world. Generally, the correct answer is the answer that identifies the safest approach. It may not be the fastest or the best, but it is the safest. The old medical slogan of "Do No Harm" applies to NCLEX test takers. NCLEX test writers are trying to make sure that you are competent and recognize that safety is the key.

Another key point on reviewing for the NCLEX exam, is know your normal laboratory data ranges. Lab test results on the NCLEX will not be flagged with an asterisk if the number is outside of normal ranges. NCLEX test takers must memorize the basic lab values. Focus on the blood gas values. These values in particular can be complicated. If you do not remember the normal ranges you will have no chance of answering lab value questions on the NCLEX. Many times these abnormal values will require further assessment..

It is also important to note that notifying the physician or contacting other health care workers is not the correct answer in many cases on the NCLEX. Remember the guidelines: Assess, Assess, Assess. Choose answers that require further assessment before contacting someone else on the NCLEX questions. Basically, collect more data and factual information before calling in other healthcare professionals

Finally, think safety with all types of patient care on the NCLEX. If equipment breaks down and the patient is in trouble, work on solving the patient's problems before getting someone else to fix the equipment. Let maintenance deal with the equipment mess and focus on getting the patient in a safe environment. The NCLEX is attempting to determine competencies related to all of the above situations.

NCLEX Scores

The NCLEX examination is scored once by the computer on which you are taking it and a second time by the National Council's testing service.

NELEX Results

It will take about a month for your state board of nursing to mail you the results of your exam.

Not Passing the Test

If you fail the test, your state board of nursing will mail you a diagnostic profile that will outline both the areas of knowledge in which your performance was satisfactory and the areas in which it was not.

Retaking the Test

Yes, you may retake the test as many times as you need to. The National Council's policy dictates that you wait at least 91 days before retaking the test. Individual state boards may impose other, stricter requirements.

NCLEX Sample Tests

Many Web sites feature free sample tests or questions. For example: Delmar's Online NCLEX Review NCLEX Excel You can also purchase sample tests in book form, such as: Mosby's Review Questions for NCLEX-RN Kaplan NCLEX-RN Lippincott's Review for NCLEX-RN Saunders Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN The Princeton Review: Cracking the NCLEX-RN with Sample Test on CD-ROM Saunders Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-PN Successful Problem Solving and Test Taking for the Nursing and NCLEX-PN Exams Mosby's Questions and Answers for NCLEX-PN

NCLEX Preparation

Many companies offer online NCLEX preparation for a fee. Some of these companies are:

National Council's Learning Extension
InternetExam Online Practice Exams

You can also purchase review books and sample tests in book form, some of which are listed in answer to the previous question. Finally, you may take NCLEX examination prep courses in the traditional classroom setting. Some of the companies offering these courses are:

Nursing Education Consultants
Rinehart and Associates

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