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National League for Nursing First to Bring Computer Adaptive Testing to NCLEX-RN® Test Prep for Improved Student/Program Outcomes

National League for Nursing First to Bring Computer Adaptive Testing to NCLEX-RN® Test Prep for Improved Student/Program Outcomes

Major Research & Development Initiative from NLN Testing Services To Be Introduced at 2009 Education Summit


New York, NY — September 9, 2009 — The first to bring computer adaptive testing (CAT) to test preparation in the field of nursing education, the National League for Nursing will introduce a major research and development initiative at the NLNs upcoming annual Education Summit in Philadelphia on Thursday, September 24. It is part of the NLN commitment to provide schools of nursing with standardized tests of the highest psychometric quality, said Dr. Stephen Hetherman, director of Testing Services at the NLN. Utilizing state-of-the-art test prep technology, computer adaptive testing will transform the current RN comprehensive examination, Dr. Hetherman asserted.

Computer adaptive testing is a method for administering examination items of appropriate difficulty for each students ability level. Each time the student answers a question, the computer re-estimates her or his ability. Based on that re-estimated ability, the NLNs proprietary software selects the next item to be presented from a large pool of available items that will challenge the student (i.e., the item is not too hard and not too easy) and meet content specifications. In this way, CAT tailors the set of items each student is presented with to each students level of proficiency. Administered in this adaptive framework, the new RN Comprehensive Achievement Examination will assess students NCLEX preparedness and simulate the NCLEX testing environment.

The NLN is currently inviting schools to apply to become possible test sites. Interested schools are urged to contact the NLN at 800-732-8656.

"As standard-bearers of excellence in nursing education, the NLN has once again raised the bar in terms of preparing pre-licensure RN candidates for the licensing exam," said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone. "We are listening to our members, proactively working with them to bring forward the best in nursing education. This latest innovation is fully aligned with the NLN mission to promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce."

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact Karen R. Klestzick, chief communications officer of the NLN, at 212-812-0376 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 30,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.