Nursing students are feeling overwhelmed by the Next Generation NCLEX, and thousands of them have failed the exam.
If you are also feeling overwhelmed by the changes that are taking place, I want to tell you that this is normal, and lucky for you, you have come to the right spot.
This week, I will be going over the new Next Generation NCLEX question types as well as the scoring system.
And I believe that after this episode, you’ll know exactly what to expect when taking the NGN.
Are you ready to pass the exam with flying colors and land the nursing job of your dreams?
Then make sure to give this episode a listen!
Let’s dive in.
What Is the Purpose of the Next Generation NCLEX?
The NCLEX is designed by the National Council of State Board of Nursing (also known as NCSBN).
Every three years, the NCSBN makes changes (as needed) to the NCLEX. They do this in order to determine the competency of nursing graduates. Passing the exam confirms the graduates’ ability to make safe clinical judgments and provide competent nursing care for patients.
The questions in the NCLEX are designed for the entry level nurse, which can be measured based on case study or standalone questions.
Why Change the NCLEX?
Because the medical world changes, the nursing exam has to change as well. The Next Generation NCLEX questions are designed to determine whether or not the test taker can think critically with patient care.
Clinical judgment plays the biggest role in the NGN. Imagine if you were the patient, wouldn’t you want to be taken care of by a nurse who has demonstrated the ability to provide competent clinical judgment?
Becoming that nurse who is ready to make the correct clinical decision regarding patient care starts with passing the Next Generation NCLEX.
When Did the Next Generation NCLEX Begin?
As of April 1st, nursing graduates will be taking the updated NCLEX, no matter when the test taker graduated from nursing school. The old NCLEX version will no longer be administered, so successfully passing the NGN is required to become a licensed nurse. This change affects both NCLEX PN and NCLEX RN.
What Didn’t Change
The types of questions used in the NCLEX haven’t changed. Nursing graduates will still see the same question format that was in the old NCLEX. These include multiple choice questions, audio and video charts, “fill in the blank” questions, etc…
Just like the old NCLEX, the NGN will also be using Computer Adaptive Testing (known as CAT).
Finally, the maximum amount of time allotted to take the NCLEX new generation is five hours, including breaks. If the test taker has answered enough questions to be at or above the passing rate, the test taker passes the NCLEX. However, if the test taker has answered too many questions incorrectly and is below the passing standard after the time runs out, then they fail the NCLEX.
The first change is that the NCLEX is now titled the Next Generation NCLEX.
The second (and most important) change the NCSBN made was to the test questions. They are now more difficult, emphasizing clinical judgment. The NGN was designed to evaluate the clinical judgment in nursing candidates as well as their readiness to enter the nursing world. It is essential to determine which information given is or isn’t relevant. The test taker must make a decision on what to prioritize and what the most desirable outcome is.
The third change is that new types of questions are now on the exam: Extended multiple choice questions, extended drag and drop questions, drop-down questions, etc…
The fourth change pertains to the new scoring system used in the NGN. This new system allows for partial credit (which wasn’t available when I passed the NCLEX).
The next (and final) change is about the number of scored questions. The Next Generation NCLEX has a minimum of 70 questions and a maximum of 135 questions. This is a big change, especially compared to old versions of the NCLEX where test takers had to answer as many as 265 questions.
I discuss all of this in more depth in the episode above, so make sure to give it a listen when you can!