NCLEX a factor in the nursing shortage

  1. I am a MSN nurse educator. I have been teaching practical nurses for 15 years. I have been a nurse for over 40 years. I feel the need to vent regarding the NCLEX. This high-stakes exam becomes more difficult every 3 years and invokes a high degree of fear and anxiety in many would be nurses who take it. Why? Why does it have to be so hard to pass? Does this produce a better, more dedicated, caring nurse? I have very capable, intelligent nurses sign up for the test and fail it because of fear and anxiety! I see our pass rate declining. Is it me? Is it my teaching? We have had 2 consecutive years below 80%. You know what that means. We have to submit a plan of action. I just don't know what to submit. I would like to say: "Let us prepare nurses to have good assessment skills, good knowledge of establishing priority based nursing care plans, and knowledge of safety measures." We are so focused now on the TEST. We are trying to come up with ways to teach them how to pass the TEST. The internet, you-tube, and others are loaded with study guides, tips, and strategies. Many companies are making millions "preparing" students to pass the NCLEX. Ex: ATI, HESI, U-World, and others. God knows it isn't enabling us to prepare nurses to be NURSEs who can care for patients in a challenging health-care setting. Rant over. Thanks!
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Pixie.RN
    If they are failing because of fear and anxiety, then it's not the exam that is the issue, or even the students' education (or you); it's their test-taking strategies and abilities to cope with stress that need some work.
  4. by   dst4ever91
    I have to agree that so much emphasis is placed on a test that will decide your future. If you will become a nurse or not. I realize that this test is important. I did not realize that it is changed every 3 years. I found it to be super stressful and anxiety eliciting when I took it in 2010. However, my nursing school prepared us with the HESI exam and you could not sit for the NCLEX if you didn't perform well enough on the HESI. I found the HESI to be harder than the NCLEX when i took it.
    But from the first day of nursing school to the last NCLEX was always in the forefront of my mind. So I'm not sure what the answer is as we continue to focus so much on this test. I am a new nurse educator for practical nursing students and I have a lot to learn but all the buzz is about passing the NCLEX-PN.
  5. by   Guy in Babyland
    It is not NCLEX. It is how well the school is preparing their students and the student's preparation for the exam (studying, test taking skills, coping with stress). My cohort had a 100% pass rate with 15/30 passing at 75 questions.
  6. by   elkpark
    Quote from dst4ever91
    I realize that this test is important. I did not realize that it is changed every 3 years.
    Nursing knowledge and practice are continuously changing and developing; the licensure exam is updated on a regular basis to reflect that.
    Last edit by elkpark on Feb 14
  7. by   flowerpowerntx
    I found NCLEX to be very easy. Compared to my nursing program exams, NCLEX was a piece of cake.