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NLN Introduces New Exam Series: Health Occupations Placement Exam (H.O.P.E.)

Media Contact: Michael Keaton; 202-909-2544
NLN Introduces New Exam Series: Health Occupations Placement Exam (H.O.P.E.)

Assessment Tool Aids Programs in Pinpointing Areas of Strength & Weakness of Candidates & Incoming Pre-Licensure Students
Washington, DC — With fewer and fewer schools of nursing requiring applicants to sit for the Pre-Admission Exam (PAX), the National League for Nursing has created a novel exam series that will help admissions officers and program deans assess candidates’ readiness for the rigors of their programs and determine potential areas requiring review or remedial instruction.

The new NLN Health Occupations Placement Exam (H.O.P.E.), now available from the League’s Assessment Services, introduces three distinct placement tests—Verbal Ability, Mathematics, and Science—whose primary purpose is to facilitate placement decisions and highlight gaps in skills or knowledge. Schools may recommend that applicants sit for one, two, or all three exams in the series, based on a specific program’s admissions requirements or a holistic review of a student’s academic background.

“We believe that the H.O.P.E. series provides an invaluable service to the nursing education community by creating greater flexibility for assessing individual students’ academic status coming into a program,” said NLN Chair Dr. Patricia S. Yoder-Wise, RN, EdD, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAONL, FAAN, Professor and Dean Emerita at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and president of The Wise Group. “By offering the option of having students take three separate placement exams, the National League for Nursing is transforming the historic ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to testing. Facilitating appropriate placement and remediation, H.O.P.E. is designed to increase diversity among incoming classes of pre-licensure nursing students.”

NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN said, “With H.O.P.E., nurse educators now have a more contextual yardstick with which to gauge the academic abilities of applicants and students accepted into nursing programs across the spectrum of higher education. Inferences from H.O.P.E. scores are intended to be one component in the overall evaluation of a student’s application and offer a more detailed analysis of student strengths and weaknesses than traditional pre-admission testing.”

Each of the three hour-long, multiple-choice H.O.P.E. exams consist of items that have undergone thorough content and sensitivity review to measure:

• Verbal Ability—two primary skills: word knowledge and reading comprehension
• Mathematics—basic problem-solving, including use of integers; fractions; decimals; percentages; conversions; algebra; and geometry
• Science—knowledge of general principles of high school-level chemistry; biology; health; and human anatomy and physiology

For more information, visit NLN Assessment Services.

About the National League for Nursing
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its nearly 45,000 individual and 1,100 institutional members, comprising nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education and health care organizations. Learn more at
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