What's up with all the 'failed NCLEX' posts?

by Magsulfate Magsulfate, BSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in ICU. Has 13 years experience.

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6 Posts

I think its due to a lot of people going to school at for profit schools, diploma mills, and affirmative action mills...

I know tons of people on this website go to school for nursing in the grand canyon, where nursing school is for profit.

All schools offering nursing programs are required to follow the state RN board's prescribed standards, regardless of whether the school is non- profit or for- profit. A blanket statement implying that for- profit nursing schools are diploma mills or some kind of affirmative action school (whatever that means) is foolish, short- sighted and quite frankly, offensive. Well run for profit schools promote diversity and allow non- traditional students the opportunity to enter the field of nursing.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

IEN's don't have ~20% first time pass percentage but I agree that it is much lower than US educated nurses.

The 2015 statistics from NCSBN show that percent passing for IEN's taking the NCLEX-RN for the first time was 31.67%, and 18.06% for repeat attempts. IEN's taking the NCLEX-PN perform better at 46.61% percent passing on their first attempt and 24.42% for repeat attempts.

It shouldn't be a big surprise. Many IEN's come from developing countries where English is a second language and nursing practice follows a different model, focus, and scope. There are many cultural nuances with NCLEX questions that pertain to psychosocial needs and therapeutic communication that can be unfamiliar to IEN's. That's why review courses are almost necessary for these nurses and are big business in some of the home countries IEN's come from.




Specializes in Cardiac/Telemetry. 95 Posts

I passed my NCLEX at question #78 and when the machine shut off, I really had no clue if I had passed or failed. I do remember getting 2 similar questions about crutch walking up and down stairs which I'm sure I missed hence the second question. I don't remember ever reading in my texts or hearing in lecture any crutch walking questions so I was perplexed. My test also had questions about obscure diseases that I read about but didn't memorize because I thought the test would be focused on common diseases one would be likely to see routinely in a hospital setting. I think one was takotsubo syndrome and an endocrine disorder. I can't remember which one it was now.



366 Posts

If we really want a fair system that encourages the highest academic standards, the NCLEX should not only report pass/fail, but should also report a numerical score. This is what the USMLE does for medical students. Scores are strongly considered for residency placement. The NCLEX already calculates such a score (called the logit, see Passing Standard | NCSBN), but it is never disclosed. This would allow fair competition between new graduate job applicants and it would create healthy marketplace pressure against underperforming schools (which are often for-profit and have low standards). Prospective nursing students and the public should be able to see the average scores for each nursing school and employers should have access to the scores of applicants.

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor.. Has 25 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,619 Posts

My class had 33 students in it at the beginning. 1 was asked to leave mid term, 3 never even tried to take the NCLEX, and 5 quit before the term was over. I was the oldest student, (55) passed the NCLEX the first time and had a 95 average for the year. I did all of this because I applied myself by making flash cards that I studied daily, and reading all of my assignments. I thought the worst part of nursing school was writing the care plans, and the most fascinating parts were L&D and the OR.



8 Posts

If we really want a fair system that encourages the highest academic standards, the NCLEX should not only report pass/fail, but should also report a numerical score. This is what the USMLE does for medical students.

They used to disclose scores a long time ago, and they were used for recruiting purposes and sign-on bonuses, but the NCSBN decided that they didn't want the scores being used that way. In their eyes, the NCLEX is a minimum standard of safety/competency, and if you pass it, it doesn't matter what your score; you're licensed. Of course we all know that's nonsense. Sounds kind of like a union.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience. 16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

As you'd notice when looking at statistics for Canadian nurses there's a significant difference from province to province. Comparing NCLEX pass rates to CRNE pass rates, it's obvious that something isn't clicking for Canadian students. There's a lot of ongoing discussion about how the Canadian regulatory bodies will address the shift. I can't see them going back to the CRNE but I can see them paying a lot more of our money to NCSBN to rework parts of the exam intended for Canadian writers so that more people might pass - basically do what we were told would be done at the beginning of the process and that's develop an adaptive, computerized nursing exam for Canadian conditions.



24 Posts

I did not read through the entire post so pardon me if I am late to the party. it is my understanding the change the test every 2 years and that with some recent changes the national averages on the nclex have dropped significantly.


TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 41 years experience. 4,295 Posts

I am not a nursing student yet, but I have a thought on it - perhaps it is because the NCLEX was just introduced to Canada. It has been big on the news in Canada lately that many Canadians are having difficulty with it. Previously, the CRNE was given. The nursing schools were teaching the curriculum on preparation for the CRNE I suppose, and now that it's the NCLEX, there has to be a transition for change. Again, just a pre-nursing student so that is only a thought!

I'm not sure where the problem would come in. I graduated from a Canadian diploma program. I passed the test first try in Canada. When I moved to the States I had to write the NCLEX here. I passed first time and did not notice any appreciable difference between the 2 tests.

I'm by no means the only Canadian nurse to have done this.

What's changed?

Edited by TriciaJ
Missed sentence



49 Posts

Here in California pass rates are declining due to for profit non-accredited colleges. Literally it's "accept anybody" approach, pass all your classes and nobody drops/kicked out from your cohort. It's a take your money and speedy graduation approach.

Once students graduate they are dumb as rocks and don't have the critical thinking skills to tackle the NCLEX. Then everybody starts stressing out and people fail left and right. Unfortunately the schools will never be closed and will just stay on probation for years.

It's a perfect business plan that guarantees profit here in California. Smart.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

I know tons of people on this website go to school for nursing in the grand canyon, where nursing school is for profit.

I don't think the Grand Canyon has any nursing schools, lol, but maybe you mean Grand Cayman?????

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

Contrary to popular belief of "its your fault because you suck" I believe I read on my BON website that they recently raised the standard of passing as of 2013 for RNs, so the test has in fact gotten slightly harder..

Or rather, the window of passing has gotten tighter, and the passing standard is higher. That would be more accurate. So it's a bit inaccurate and unfair for nurses that were licensed pretty much anytime before 2013 to dismiss failures on the difficulty of the exam.

But I surely blame it on diploma mills and ill-preparedness.

but then students should be in schools that know this same information and should be educating their students accordingly shouldn't they? it's not really accurate either to say that the test is harder so that's why more people are failing, if the school is supposed to prepare their students to pass then the test being harder shouldn't mean anything. maybe it needs to be harder to get into the schools in the first place! definitely those schools who only have as an admission requirement an open checking account and an applicant with a heartbeat should be held accountable for poor passing rates of their students.

in the end even if the test has gotten harder, and I'm not sure I agree with that since students should be studying the more advanced material in the first place, so what? Graduates with a law degree who can't pass the Bar exam exist, just as grads with a nursing degree can't pass the nclex. Some just aren't going to pass!