The NCSBN Board of Directors voted to raise the passing standard for NCLEX-RN exam

  1. 12/11/2006:

    the ncsbn board of directors voted to raise the passing standard for the nclex-rn examination

    the national council of state boards of nursing, inc. (ncsbn) voted at its dec. 5-7, 2006 meeting to raise the passing standard for the nclex-rn examination (the national council licensure examination for registered nurses).... the new passing standard will take effect on april 1, 2007, in conjunction with the 2007 nclex-rn test plan.

    after consideration of all available information, the ncsbn board of directors determined that safe and effective entry-level rn practice requires a greater level of knowledge, skills, and abilities than was required in 2004, when ncsbn established the current standard. the passing standard was increased in response to changes in u.s. health care delivery and nursing practice that have resulted in the greater acuity of clients seen by entry-level rns. ...
  2. Visit NRSKarenRN profile page

    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 27,463; Likes: 13,676
    Utilization Review, prior Intake Mgr Home Care; from PA , US
    Specialty: 40 year(s) of experience in Home Care, Vents, Telemetry, Home infusion


  3. by   llg
    Thanks for passing this along, Karen.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    a pdf of the 2007 nclex-rn test plan is available free of charge from the ncsbn web site (
  5. by   SharonH, RN
    Wow, that's interesting. It will take a few years but this should lead to a tightening of nursing curriculums(sp?) and might we see a raising of the bar on admissions to nursing programs?
  6. by   bookwormom
    Does anyone have any concerns about this at all?

    Does this not encourage "teaching to the test", and discourage curricular emphasis on other, possibly relevant, material?

    Does this not further restrict entry into the profession? (Almost like the Medieval Guilds).

    Does a higher standard on the test translate to safer, more competent practice? How is this quantified? Specifically, does competency in test taking skills correlate with actual performance?

    I'm afraid we may lose potentially competent practitioners.

    Consider this as a possible next step: requiring retesting to maintain licensure. How many nurses in specialty fields would be able to demonstrate the knowledge base required for NCLEX if they took the test today?
  7. by   OC_An Khe
    Teaching to the test has always been a concern ever since state boards and eventually national testing as a requirement for licensing came into being. I don't think this changes anything in that regard.
    I personally don't mind if standards for entering nursing are raised and if this restricts or creates barriers so be it. Higher standards are the lesser of the two evils in this case.
    I agree that higher standards do not equate with safer practicioners, in fact, no test taking standards can assure safe practise. One is the presence of knowledge the other is the application of that knowledge.
    As far as retesting to maintain licsenure, the real question is whether the professional keeps current on their specialty of work? Continuing education requirement would at least have some benefit, but like test taking it shows knowledge but not neccessarily how competently an individual practises.
    Remember the "boards" are designred to show minimum knowledge to enter the profession. Not competencey in working with in that profession.
  8. by   Nemhain
    The NCSBN has consistently raised the passing standard every 3 years since it has been implemented. The test covers very basic knowledge and basic critical thinking skills. I felt most of the test's content reflected what I needed to know to safely practice as an entry level nurse.

    This past summer one of my teachers was leading a nurse refresher course and one of the students had been away from nursing for quite sometime and got the shock of her life when she found out that they were going to go over lab values. This nurse spoke up and said, "wait a minute! Lab values? Since when are nurses allowed to look at those???"... holy moly.

    New nurses today need to know more than new nurses had to know just a few years before, at least that's what the NCSBN seems to find every few years when they conduct a survey of New Graduate RNs and as a result, increase the passing standards.
  9. by   Sheri257
    The new passing standard is -0.2100 logits on the NCLEX-RN logistic scale, 0.070 logits higher than the previous standard of -0.2800.

    Can anybody translate and describe what this means?

  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    the definition of a logit may be found on ncsbn's web site at
  11. by   RNsRWe
    Ok, at this point I'm too tired to try to interpret what the NCSBN ream of documentation means to this year's crop of new grads. New grads who have learned under the "old" expectations and curriculum, and now will be expected to know more than what they were taught, perhaps?

    How does this impact those who graduated in May or June of this past year and still need to take the exam....will they find it significantly harder to pass than their classmates' tests were?

    Or is all this relatively meaningless, since the test is geared toward MINIMUM competency, (which the vast majority demonstrate each year) not expertise?
  12. by   Dfortin8
    Wow... another raised standard in nursing. Isn't already hard enough to get into the program. I have alot to look for when I apply for the LPN transition program in 2008. Wish me luck! Oh yeah i'm taking my nclex- pn next month, wish me luck on that too!
  13. by   cajrio
    I say thumbs up we need to keep standards high, how often have you seen nurses who you question how they obtain their license?
    I have see nurses who crush pills and put them into iv lines, nurses who push medicine without knowing what it does or side effects, nurse who have given iv meds into a ng, nurses who breaking sterile technique to scratch an itch, and the list goes on. The scary part is many of these nurses are still practicing. How can we ensure patient safety if new grads are not challenge to keep up with todays changing technology and information?
  14. by   NurseLatteDNP
    These changes will only affect those who just barely passed the boards. Everyone else should be fine. Our instructor said that they will be increasing the number of fill in the blank questions and multiple choice also.
    I am concenrned too, because I will be taking the boards in May.