This is the 3rd year I’ve attended the NCLEX conference and this year it was obviously different. It was online. I still learned a lot. But I really missed the excitement of seeing everyone and talking with others about the NCLEX. Here are the major NCLEX conference Updates for 2020.
Next Gen NCLEX
It is official. There will be unfolding case study questions on the NCLEX (both PN and RN) starting in April of 2023. There will still be regular multiple choice, hot spot, SATA, drag and drop and audio questions on the NCLEX too. The CONTENT and your basic clinical judgment skills are NOT changing. So what you study today, will still be relevant when the NEXT GEN NCLEX rolls out. I’ve already started to prepare the new type of NCLEX questions to practice with students.
All next gen NCLEX questions will have partial credit.
Select all that apply (SATA)
As of today, it is very rare for a SATA to have all the answers be correct. So when in doubt, don’t pick all.
Now, this is super interesting. When the new NCLEX rolls out in 2023, the SATA will change. You will be able to get partial credit on a SATA. This means that if you choose one of the correct answers you will get a point. But if you choose an incorrect answer you will get a point taken away. So if you choose 2 correct answers and 1 incorrect answer, you will get 1 point.
Number of Questions on the NCLEX
On October 1, 2020 and until at least April 2023, the NCLEX will have a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 145 questions. 15 of the questions are pilot questions, which don’t count. In the past, those 15 questions have been in the first 75 questions. This the same for both PN and RN exams.
While doing practice NCLEX questions, you can assume (unless otherwise stated):
- you are in an acute care setting
- it’s an adult patient
- you have the order (for meds or other interventions)
Do not assume you have the LPN or UAP in a delegation question, unless it clearly states that you have one.
There are no brand names of meds on the NCLEX. And you don’t have to know appropriate doses for meds for the test either. However, you should know appropriate doses for nursing care in general, and always clarify that it is the correct dose before giving.
How the NCLEX is Scored
There are two ways to pass the NCLEX in regards to scoring methods
- you can either get clearly above the passing level. The test will stop once this is determined and you will pass. If you are clearly below the passing standard, the test will stop and you will fail.
- or you can get the entire test without being clearly above or below the passing level. The final ability estimate is when they look at the last question. If it is above the passing standard you pass. If it is below the passing standard you fail. You can even get the last question wrong and still pass. However, if it’s a below-the-passing-standard question and you get it right, you can fail.
Questions that are “passing level” are questions that are stated like this:
- What is the immediate concern?
- What would you monitor for?
- What would you teach?
- What is the most important action?
- What is the first action?
- What needs further teaching?
- Who do you see first?
- Most SATAs
So if your last question is stated like one of the ones above, that’s a really good sign!
Pass/ Fail Rate Statistics + more for 2019
- the NCLEX was administered 330,637 times
- 2,216 students received test accommodations
- there are about 10,000 questions in the entire NCLEX question bank
- 88.2% of first-time U.S. educated students passed
- 85.6% of first-time Canadian educated students passed
- 44.5% of first-time internationally educated students passed
- 44% of repeat U.S. educated students that failed the first time, eventually passed
- 27% of repeat internationally educated students that failed the first time, eventually passed
- Average test length was 116 questions
- 53.7% took the minimum number of questions
- 12.6% took the maximum number of questions
- Average testing time was 2 hours and 14 minutes
- 1.4% of students took the maximum number of time
What’s nice to know for the next 2 1/2 years is that nothing is changing on the NCLEX. The passing standards is the same and the types of questions are the same. However, nursing schools are now starting to incorporate unfolding case study types of questions in their curriculum for those that will graduate after April 2023.
Because of this big change, my team and I will be ready to help nursing students get prepared properly.
What are your thoughts on grading policies in nursing school courses that give no partial credit for SATA? If they have determined that the NCLEX will move away from this, do you think nursing schools should begin to do the same?
I think that nursing schools should definitely start giving partial credit for SATA that are part of a NCLEX Next Gen-style question (basically a case study question). But as of now, the stand alone SATA should be all or no credit, since this is how the NCLEX is still doing it.