NLN Testing Partners,
I hope that you are enjoying a successful fall semester. Soon we will begin to feel those familiar winter chills — as well as the pressure to prepare graduating classes for NCLEX® success. The NLN Education Summit was a great opportunity for nurse faculty and other NLN members and guests to gather together and exchange ideas. I enjoyed having an opportunity to connect with so many of you in person.
I am pleased to present to you this special expanded issue of the Testing Services Customer Update, designed especially with our customers in mind, so that we at NLN Testing Services can highlight the many options available to nurse educators who want the best for their students and institutions. If you have any questions or comments about how Testing Services can better serve your needs, please do not hesitate to contact me directly by phone at 212-812-0309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternately, you may contact our Customer Service department at 800-732-8656.
Senior Director, NLN Testing Services
The Future of Standardized Testing in Nursing Education?
At the Summit, two related questions that surfaced repeatedly were how to increase NCLEX pass rates and how the presence of alternate item formats on the NCLEX affects student preparation and success. Alternate item formats are increasing in popularity as they provide a different way to assess student and nursing competencies.
Alternate item formats may include multiple response items, fill-in-the-blank items, fill-in-the-blank items with calculations, ordered response items, computer-based items involving "hot spots" (interactive, clickable areas on the computer screen), and a variety of items requiring analytical application of skills to interpret data graphics, videos, and other media. Alternate items were introduced on the NCLEX in 2000, and experts in testing and educational analysis predict that they will continue to grow in popularity.
The NLN's Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) module works like the NCLEX and contains the same alternate item formats included on the NCLEX. Our CAT module is the perfect NCLEX simulation, placing students in the same environment as the actual NCLEX. In 2012 we will update approximately 30 additional exams to include alternate items.
The best way to prepare students to answer alternate items questions is to support their practice with many different alternate item formats. Please continue to look for our updated exams that will include a variety of alternate items.
New Guidelines for Special Accommodations Requests
While all standardized testing is required by law to follow ADA guidelines for special accommodations, not all policies are the same. The NLN has a newly updated set of easy-to-follow guidelines for special accommodations. If a determination has been made by the test taker's institution that an individual is eligible for special accommodation services related to test administration, then the individual will be approved for accommodations through the NLN. In 2012, we updated our ACTION test administration system to flag test taker accounts for special accommodations and automatically provide the approved accommodations on all future exams. To request accommodations for a test taker, the institution must submit a signed request form. In order to protect the test taker's privacy under HIPAA, the NLN does not require additional documentation.
This year's NLN Education Summit in Anaheim was an overwhelming success, providing nurse educators and administrators with a range of excellent opportunities to connect, network, and learn.
Item Writing Workshop
NLN Testing Services hosted a test item writing workshop attended by approximately 35 nurse educators with a wide range of expertise. The workshop was a highly interactive experience, involving in-depth discussions about the critique and revision of test items. Participants left with an excellent basic foundation in item writing, not only for instructor-made exams, but also as potential item writers for the NLN. (See "Get Involved" for more information on how to become an NLN Item Writer.)
Live Review Workshop
The Live Review is a one- or two-day course offered through NLN Testing Services to prepare new nursing school graduates to take the NCLEX. At the 2012 Summit, NLN Testing Services hosted a Live Review PN and RN facilitator training. Numerous experienced nurse educators attended and were trained as Live Review facilitators. As part of their training, attendees reviewed the needs of today's learners, creative teaching strategies, suggestions for NCLEX success, and the details of NLN testing products.
Faculty who attended the "Assessment and Evaluation: Three Steps to NCLEX Success" post-Summit workshop discussed and shared ideas related to NLN testing products while gaining an understanding of how to best prepare their students for the rigors of the NCLEX. Questions surrounding NCLEX success and how to continuously improve outcomes using the NLN's new ACTION testing platform were highlighted. Attendees were introduced to the NLN's ACTION test delivery engine, the Computer Adaptive Testing module (CAT), the instructor-created exam delivery, and the upcoming Prep, Practice, & Remediation module and discussed the NLN Assessment Reports and how to use them to improve nursing education outcomes. The workshop also addressed how best to use the NLN's Pre-Admission Exam (PAX), Achievement Exams, and Pre-NCLEX Readiness Program — including the Diagnostic Readiness Test, Comprehensive Nursing Achievement Exam, and Live Review — to improve student performance, increase retention rates, and improve student outcomes on the NLCEX.
NLN Testing Services extends a big thank you to all of our Summit attendees. Please join us again next year in Washington, DC.
Client Appreciation Dinner Cruise
Finally, many thanks to all who were present at the Client Appreciation Dinner Cruise. Fun and excitement were certainly aboard at this invitation-only event on the Wild Goose, a luxury yacht that once belonged to actor John Wayne. During the evening, new and existing clients of NLN Testing Services enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and a delightful cruise while learning about NLN Testing Services products, networking with colleagues in nursing education, and relaxing on the open water off Newport Beach.
Expansion into Puerto Rico
In May of 2011, the NLN introduced standardized nursing exams to the 6,000-plus students on the island of Puerto Rico. These Spanish-language exams match the content of their English-language counterparts and, for the first time, provide the option of seamless evaluation for Spanish-speaking nursing students. As students become acclimated to seeing questions written in their first language at the cognitive taxonomic levels of application and analysis, they are displaying a greater sense of confidence and are better prepared to succeed on the Puerto Rican licensure examination and to meet the rigors of taking the NCLEX.
Concept-Based Curriculum Exams
NLN Testing Services is pleased to announce the release of the complete line of North Carolina Concept-Based Curriculum Exams, and the ongoing expansion of this exam line to cover other concept-based state curricula. All students who take the exams will have an opportunity to gain insight into strengths and weaknesses as they prepare to take the NCLEX, while faculty will be able to assess for gaps in curriculum content as they conduct ongoing curriculum evaluations.
Prep, Practice, & Remediation — Coming Soon!
We at the NLN are proud to introduce our new Prep, Practice, & Remediation module (PPR), currently scheduled to be released in early 2013. The PPR will consist of several thousand NCLEX preparation questions complete with rationales and alternate items. This product will help students prepare for and pass various exams required to advance in nursing practice by evaluating their individual performance according to the most recent NCLEX test plan. The PPR program interface is user-friendly and will allow faculty to monitor their students' success in specific content areas as well as set up "mini-assessments" for class quizzes or homework.
Expansion into Delivery of Instructor-Created Exams
We are continuing to explore ways to assist faculty in the use of our ACTION platform to administer their own exams. Using the ACTION platform, nurse faculty can upload content with the assistance of a Testing Services data specialist and can then access their school exams in the same manner they would any other NLN exam. Look for updates about this developing program in upcoming newsletters.
Did You Know…
Since 2010, the NLN has developed or revised more than 81 of our exams. The NLN is keeping its commitment to provide customers with updated exams mapped to the current NCLEX blueprint. All NLN testing tools are reviewed and updated on a two-year cycle.
The NLN Goes to Washington
As many of you already know, the NLN will be moving to our new home for transformative excellence in Washington in 2013. This move is not expected to impact Testing Services customers in any way, but if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
As the NLN's Testing Division continues to grow, we will need to increase the number of items writers and Live Review facilitators working alongside the testing team. We will be looking for nurse educators from across the country to participate in the test development, item writing, and test review processes as we update more than 20 exams in the next year. Click here to learn more.
PAX Study Guide Reminder
Don't forget! The NLN official PAX Study Guide is available through Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Contact them toll-free at 800-832-0034, x8197 or order directly through the J&B online catalog.
The NLN Testing Services Challenge
Take the NLN Testing Services Challenge!
For a limited time, NLN Testing Services is offering special introductory rates for a semester's use of the following new products:
- Care of the Older Adult Exam
- CAT module
- Drug Dosage Calculation Exam
To find out more, contact NLN Testing Services or your current Testing Services relationship manager today.