High Stakes Testing


The National League for Nursing recognizes the pressure faced by nursing schools to maintain high NCLEXTM pass rates: stakeholders are concerned with issues of public safety, reputation, recruitment of qualified students, competition, and accreditation; faculty and students have a mutual obligation to ensure readiness to pass the NCLEX.

There is no debate about the need to protect the public through standardized evaluation measures of nursing competence and there is a clear understanding that licensure exams are themselves high-stakes for students, faculty, and schools of nursing. It is the prevalent use of standardized tests to block graduation or in some other way deny eligibility to take the licensing exam that is most concerning to the NLN.

To address this issue, the NLN enacted a process to develop national fair testing guidelines to assist nurse faculty and administrators in creating and implementing ethical and evidence-based academic progression and graduation policies.

The resulting Fair Testing Guidelines for Nursing Education (NLN, 2012) are based on widely accepted testing principles and on the League’s core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence.