September 19, 2018

New NCLEX-RN will need new ways to teach nursing

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is working on the next generation of the NCLEX-RN exam. The key takeaway for nurse educators is that we must be giving more emphasis to clinical judgment (CJ) in our teaching.

There are two main parts to these changes. The first is a refinement in the description of clinical judgment. The second change is the way the NCLEX exam will evaluate candidates' abilities in each area of clinical judgment.

For faculty this means we will need to reexamine how we teach. Are we using techniques that will promote learning of clinical judgment? Are we clinging to old ideas that are not helping students learn clinical judgment? Does our curriculum help students become independently thinking nurses?

The next generation NCLEX-RN (or NGN) is being designed so that test-taking tricks should not help the candidate pass. Nursing students should have learned CJ well enough to apply it to the exam.

In upcoming posts I will discuss how the "new" steps of CJ look suspiciously like the old steps you are already used to using in clinical practice.