are current NCLEX requirements enough

  1. I am currently enrolled in a BSN completion program and posted this qusetion to my classmates. I have read alot of statements on this sight about the everpresent eating of the young. Do any of you think that regardless of the type of program you or some one you know graduated from. That the current NCLEX standards of a minimum 75 questions and a max of 280 is a legitimate test of ones minimum skills to pracice as a nurse or is the old way better and is this one of the problems with the new graduates now?I graduated in 1999 and I was disgusted with the boards I spent all that time in school busting my butt for 75 questions. Please be honest and do not read anything into the question.
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    About gpip

    Joined: Nov '00; Posts: 61; Likes: 1
    RN, Intensive care


  3. by   Stargazer
    I am probably about to be flamed by people who write test questions for the NCLEX in their state, but here goes....

    gpip, to be honest, I never felt that the NCLEX exam (and I took the WHOLE THING in 1988, before they were computerized) was any sort of realistic assessment of my nursing knowledge anyway and, to tell you the truth, I've never met anyone else who feels so either. There were some truly bizarre and off-topic questions that literally made me laugh out loud (okay, at least chuckle) during the exam and think, "Okay, what freak wrote THIS one, and what were they on at the time?"

    As had been said before in previous threads about the NCLEX, it is mainly a test to see how well you take tests. At its best, it is a test to see how well you can figure out what you don't know by extrapolating from what you do. By way of contrast, when I took the CCRN exam, I felt it was an extremely thorough and difficult, but fair, test of my critical care knowledge. And friends of mine who are CNRN's (neuroscience)as well as CCRN's said that the CNRN test was much harder than even the CCRN exam, and exhaustively comprehensive.

    Now, I'm not saying that the NCLEX should be so hard that very few people can pass it. But I do believe that mine, anyway, could've been much better written, more comprehensive and more relevant.

    To answer your question, though, since I've never considered, or known anyone who considered the NCLEX to be the be-all and end-all of evaluating nursing knowledge (I think nursing school exams and clinicals are much better for that), I don't think it makes much difference whether it's 75 questions or 280.
  4. by   MollyJ
    Well, I guess that the NCLEX has been thoroughly tested and that you could probably access information about its validity, but it is hard for me to comprehend that they can test the depth and breadth of even beginning nursing knowledge with 75 to 260 or whatever questions. Even a beginning nurse needs to have an amazing breadth of information (and that baseline body of knowledge has definitely expanded since I was a GN).

    I am a veteran of the "old tests" that took a day and a half to take and certainly it seemed we had to demonstrate some breadth to do that. Again, I suspect that the validity of NCLEX is well documented and ultimately I bow to that.

    Hard for me to say since I took only the "old test". I didn't think the test I took "back then" [1979] was arcane or superficial, though. I thought it was a good reflection of beginning nursing knowledge.
  5. by   Tim-GNP
    You must keep in mind what licensure means... it does not say you are a great nurse, it doesn't even say you are a good nurse. It says that you are a SAFE nurse. The job of any licensing board is to protect the public from harm. That is all that NCLEX screens for-safe, entry level practice.

    For the record... I took my LPN boards by pencil & paper & my RN boards via computer. I thought both were a piece of cake.