News Release

Share This Page

High-Stakes, End-of-Program Testing in Nursing Addressed by NLN

High-Stakes Testing Addressed by National League for Nursing

Reflection & Dialogue Makes Recommendations for End-of-Program Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing Education Programs


New York, NY — December 15, 2010 — An innovative exploration of assessment critical to the future education of the nursing workforce has been published by the NLN as part of its ongoing series addressing important issues in nursing and nursing education.

As explained in the Reflection & Dialogue, "The requirement to pass a standardized test as a prerequisite for student progression in nursing programs is a growing and intensifying trend. Because the results can block graduation or deny eligibility to take the NCLEXâ„¢ licensing exam, such testing is called high stakes. The issues around high-stakes testing have crystallized around NCLEX predictive testing and the serious consequences they have on progression decisions."

In announcing the release of "High-Stakes Testing," NLN president Dr. Cathleen Shultz said, "These recommendations arose from our Presidential Task Force on High Stakes Testing comprising leaders in nursing education, nursing practice, health care, and higher education. A task force subgroup explored principles to guide faculty who are developing or adopting end-of-program testing, NCLEX predictive testing, and policies for evaluation of student learning."

In its recommendations to the nursing education community, the Reflection & Dialogue recognizes that though current approaches to learning assessment are limited and imperfect, there is, in fact, an overall need for methods of evaluation "not only to evaluate student achievement, but, as importantly, to support student learning, and evaluate and improve teaching and program effectiveness."

Added NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "If we are to attain the numbers we need in advanced nursing education programs and a diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-racial workforce to protect our nations health, multiple and fair measures for competency evaluation need to be considered."

"High-Stakes Testing" concludes with a series of questions designed to encourage reflection about this issue and invites others to join in the dialogue via the NLN website at

The entire series, available at
, reflects the input of members of the NLNs Board of Governors and past presidents and offers an opportunity for reflection and dialogue with the nursing education community on important issues.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact Karen 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 33,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.