Do you think the Boards really mean your competent?

  1. What was your experience taking the boards?
    Last edit by pedsoncology on Feb 22, '02
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  2. 79 Comments

  3. by   biscuit_007
    no i don't but they are not there to judge competence. I think the boards are there to test if a new grad has the basic concepts and understanding needed to continue to learn in their new chosen profession.
    ps i took my boards on 1/8/02 and passed but i have been an LPN since 1997
  4. by   nightingale
    I agree with biscuit and it is a start. Compentence is something you work on as you progress with your basic skills.

    B.
  5. by   pedsoncology
    I also agree, but if you are a bad test taker than you are just SOL. Most everyone has to agree that those questions are just not worded in the best way. I found that there really is no way of studying for the boards. I read the saunders comprehensive book (1300 pages) after graduating and graduated with honors at my school and still found those questions to be difficult. Not worded properly. But I passed and I am glad that I never have to take them again.
  6. by   BeachNurse
    The boards prove that you have the knowledge--but not necessarily the competence.
  7. by   Agnus
    Competent. No. I see too many fellow new grads who are dangerous . I don't know how it was with the old paper and pencil 3 day exam but today you may get as few as 84 questions.
    I'm sorry but 84 questions is not giong to tell anyone if you know what you are doing well enough. I think 200 or so is the max. I'm not sure that is any better. Especially when the board is looking for MINIMUM competency. What the H... is minimum competency. Do you want someone who is minimially competent to care for someone you love?
    The bar needs to be raised. Too many get out of school and think their education is finished they close thier mind.
    P. S. I graduated LPN in 1999 and RN in 2001, so I am not picking on you.
    Last edit by Agnus on Feb 22, '02
  8. by   bedazzled
    I think they should develop a test which measures "common sense". There are some who are academically intellectual but unable to get in out of the rain. Not trying to offend anyone, just stating the obvious.
  9. by   CEN35
    "competence cannot be taught, only learned through experience" - me
  10. by   ERNurse752
    I don't think passing boards proves someone is competent, necessarily. Someone I know worded it well...said that passing boards proves you know how to learn how to be a nurse. From then on, it's a matter of your own ability, plus the hands-on education you get on the job and the willingness of your peers to teach you.
    I took 75 questions to become "minimally competent" in the eyes of Indiana State Law...
  11. by   nursedawn67
    I think the boards prove that you have "books smarts", but doesn't necessarily mean you have the common sense for on the floor. I found alot of that comes with time and experience. :roll
  12. by   Joules
    R U COMPETENT?
    WELCOME to todays BRAVE NEW WORLD of nursing:
    http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/tpc3/tpc3_3.htm



    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Background Paper
    Dorothy del Bueno

    We must hold nurses accountable for changing their behavior. Then we will see change in the practice. We already know what does not work in assuring competence.
    Mandatory CEUs -- there is no evidence that it changes overall behavior.
    Credentials, there is not a measurable difference.
    Skill or job analysis is not relevant to assuring competence.
    Scores and multiple choice questions are not real life. We take care of patients not questions.
    Technical procedures.
    Policies and absolutes.
    There are three dimensions to competency: critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and technical skills. Previously, what had been evaluated was the ability to use knowledge in the context of taking care of patients. People are not equally competent in all skill dimensions. Critical thinking determines safe practice. The entry ability is what we call safe e.g. risk management. Can the nurse identify essential data indicative of acute changes in health status? If you recognize it, do you initiate actions that at least minimize the problem?

    A study was conducted over 5 years of 58 acute care hospitals. A 10% sample was drawn representing 50,000 RNs with 6 months experience in their area of practice. The findings were as follows:

    67% of the experienced nurses (at least 6 mos of experience) met at least safe practice.
    of the inexperienced nurses or new graduates, only 38% were considered safe. The manager makes a big difference to the degree to which she holds everyone accountable.
    of the unlicensed assistive personnel, 84% meet expectations.
    It is not that we ought to ensure competence, it is how we ensure it. We need to measure and look at competence, not some surrogate that is not competence.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Big Sister Del Bueno is watching you

  13. by   sgavette
    I feel that the board need to be changed. There are nurses out there that do great on their boards because they are book smart and then there are others that will make great nurses but because of test anxiety they are unable to pass the test.
  14. by   dstout-rn
    I took my boards two years ago. This was following a B average in nursing school and constant put downs by my nursing instructors that I would never pass boards..... I was NOT nursing material because I asked to many WHY questions and didn't put nursing school at the top of my priority list. Well I passed with 75 questions on my first try, my advisor in nursing school said she was SHOCKED!!! I think nurses should ask WHY are we doing _______ instead of _______. I am a BSN grad was not a book worm so to speak I am a believer of OJT. I worked my butt off in school but I also worked full time (3 twelves a week) while I was in school and kept a great average, my nursing instructors couldn't understand how I did it all. To me the boards don't prove anything I have seen nurses who were "tops" in class who couldn't do patient care if their life depended on it, and C students who picked up on little changes that were major problems.

    My advice take boards then forget about them find a mentor and learn something everyday for the rest of you nursing career and always ask WHY!!!

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