Teaching to NCLEX NOT teaching nursingRegister Today!
- by Counselort Dec 22, '10I am in a highly-rated national BSN program, and in my first semester have been dismayed at how much of the coursework and assessment is simply to prepare us for the NCLEX. The notion that the NCLEX "measures" is a fiction. It contains nothing related to client care but memorization of easily found facts and the ability to test (as indicated by the multiplicity of companies willing to help you pass it). The questions themselves are scarcely disguised as what they are: T/F or multiple choice; not usually the kind of critical thinking all the programs purport to teach and emphasize. Those experiences must come from well-supervised experience, which is much more expensive to provide.
Critical thinking and client care seem to have fallen by the wayside to make room for the Almighty Test. I am seriously thinking of changing fields. If this is what training "caring professionals" is about, I may as well be working in engineering or computer science where human variables don't complicate things or often provide more than four possible answers.
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- Dec 23, '10 by QuienesThere is some logic behind the madness of "teaching to the NCLEX", the questions really make you think like a nurse. I'm sure you've heard "critical thinking" from all your instructors, the NCLEX questions require it and by answering and analyzing them your thinking patterns change.
- Dec 23, '10 by MoogieI've taught nursing and, quite frankly, I don't think much of "teaching to the test". I understand why it happens, since a high first-time pass rate on NCLEX is often seen as the most desirable outcome of a program, but I think that students need to be able to think critically, not just regurgitate content for any test.
It could be that, because you're just beginning your program, that you aren't being challenged to think as critically as you will be expected to as you progress through the program. You may feel more satisfied with your learning after this first semester. I would not make any drastic moves at this time but see what the next semester brings.
It could also be that you need to rethink your choice of a program. It's difficult to walk away, especially when nursing programs are competitive, but if you truly are dissatisfied with your program, this might be a choice you have to make. Please don't give up on nursing altogether. It could be that you just aren't getting what you need from this particular program.
Have you spoken with your advisor about your concerns? Do your classmates agree with your perception? Does it seem like all the instructors are teaching to the test or only a few?
I wish you the best with this. I know you're in a difficult situation and I empathize with your frustration.
- Dec 23, '10 by decembergrad2011I agree with giving it another semester. The first semester is definitely laying the groundwork. It will get more intense and dive deeper into the content as time goes on.