Volume 3, Issue 2 - October 2010

Dear Colleague,

Thanks to all who attended the 2010 NLN Education Summit, and especially for spending time with me and the NLN Test Development Team. It certainly was a pleasure to meet so many talented professionals and to be immersed in such an impressive culture of excellence.

As I reflect on the Summit, four words echo in my mind: resilience, commitment, perseverance, and excellence. Some of the people I met discussed how they had overcome personal challenges to achieve their goals, while others shared professional and educational success stories — including how NLN testing products had helped their institutions to achieve improved NCLEX┬« pass rates.

In upcoming
Customer Updates, we will spotlight stories of extraordinary people and programs in the field of nursing education. If you have a success story that will serve as further inspiration, please share it with us so we can pass it along to other colleagues and friends.

I look forward to my future with the NLN and to continuing my work within this exceptional culture.

Angel Feliciano
Senior Director, Testing Services

Summit Summary
The NLN Education Summit was an overwhelming success, attended by almost 2000 educators, clinicians, other leaders in nursing education, and students. Here are a few Summit highlights from NLN Testing Services:
  • More than 50 highly-skilled nurse educators attended the pre-Summit test item writing workshop. In addition to the valuable training participants received, the workshop helped the NLN to identify talented new candidates for the NLN Test Development Team.

  • The live review workshop offered excellent preparation for NCLEX® live review facilitators. We welcome our newly-trained facilitators. Our live review program is growing, with new workshop dates to come — watch for updates in future newsletters and on the web at www.nln.org.

  • The new testing platform preview was well received. If you were unable to attend, contact Customer Service today at customerhelp@nln.org or 800-78NLN (8656) to schedule a training session for your institution.

Spotlight on High Stakes Testing
At the Summit, the Presidential Task Force on High Stakes Testing, a panel of leaders in nursing education, nursing practice, health care, and higher education, presented the findings of a recent in-depth investigation.

Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, shared the story of a student who had failed to meet the passing standard of her program's HESI exit exam, which was set so high that many students were likely to fail. The student had fulfilled all other requirements for graduation, and was by all other measures very likely to pass the NCLEX®. But, without obtaining a HESI score that "guaranteed" she would pass the NCLEX, she was barred from both graduation and taking the exam.

Building on this example, Darrell Spurlock, PhD, RN, presented data from the large number of studies that showed that despite misleading claims of 99 percent predictive accuracy, the majority of students who score well below the often-used cut scores on the HESI exit exam still pass the NCLEX. Dr. Spurlock argued for assessment systems that identify students at risk of failing the NCLEX and offer remediation opportunities early in nursing programs, rather than aggressive, high-stakes measures that bar well-prepared students from moving forward with their training and careers.

The Presidential Task Force on High Stakes Testing panel has released a list of recommendations. Many of these practices are among those that, throughout its history, NLN Testing Services has encouraged its test users to follow. NLN Testing Services also subscribes to the Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education. We do not set or recommend passing scores on our exams and we encourage users of our tests to consider multiple indicators of a student's ability for evaluation purposes. Please visit Testing Services on the web for news and updates regarding high stakes testing. For questions regarding recommended uses of NLN exams, please contact our Customer Service staff at customerhelp@nln.org or 800-732-8NLN (8656).

To learn more about the work of the Presidential Task Force on High Stakes Testing, visit the NLN web site.

Important Testing Announcements

  • The NLN Test Development Team is pleased to announce the arrival of the Computerized Adaptive Test (CAT) in January 2011. To find out more, contact the Test Development Team at customerhelp@nln.org or call 800-732-8NLN (8656).

  • We are searching for nursing students to volunteer for our ongoing CAT Quality Assurance initiative. Students who participate receive free test preparation and institutions will receive helpful data on student performance. Contact the Test Development Team at customerhelp@nln.org (please write CAT QA in the email subject line) or call 800-732-8NLN (8656) to register your program today.

  • We have begun accepting abstracts for the NLN 2011 Education Summit in Orlando, FL. In particular, the Test Development Team encourages researchers to submit work relating to best practices and new developments in testing and assessment. Go to the NLN web site to read our Call for Abstracts and submit yours now.

  • Don't forget! The NLN Official PAX Study Guide is available through Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Get yours now by calling 800-832-0034 (x8197) or order directly via the online catalog at www.jbpub.com.

  • If you have not yet explored our full line of testing products and services, be sure to visit the Testing Services on the web, write to us at customerhelp@nln.org, or call 800-732-8NLN (8656).

We Would Like to Hear from You
The NLN is committed to seeking out industry best practices to share with our clients and colleagues. Please contact us at customerhelp@nln.org, or call 800-732-8NLN (8656) to share your strategies for success — you could be highlighted in an upcoming Customer Update!
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