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High number of Saskatchewan graduate nurses failing Canadian NCLEX-RN exam - News - Nursesarena Forum

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High number of Saskatchewan graduate nurses failing Canadian NCLEX-RN exam by Idowu Olabode : November 24, 2015, 05:58:31 PM
Taylor Dyke successfully wrote a national exam that nursing graduates must pass to be licensed to work as registered nurses, but she worries about the high number of Saskatchewan nursing students failing the test.

Dyke is the only one of her friends enrolled in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program who passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

“I didn’t feel proud, I felt lucky,” she said.

In January, it became mandatory that nursing graduates in every province except Quebec and Yukon write the NCLEX to be licensed to work as registered nurses. In the past, graduate nurses wrote a paper exam, which was administered by the Canadian Nurses Association three times a year. All NCLEX questions are answered on a computer. The exam uses an algorithm to choose the type and number of questions based on how the student performs on the test.

Brooklyn Brown failed the exam. She believes students were tested on some areas which they weren’t taught about in-depth — such as chemotherapy.

“We never had a clinical rotation in that area,” she said. “I think the most frustrating part is that our program didn’t prepare us for the NCLEX — not at all.”

I didn’t feel proud, I felt lucky — Taylor Dyke

According to the website of the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR), 66.7 per cent of the 144 Saskatchewan candidates who wrote the NCLEX between April and June passed — up from 43.1 per cent of the 51 Saskatchewan students who passed between January and March.

After writing the exam in July, Dyke thought she’d failed because she had to answer 265 questions — the maximum number.

Students get three tries to pass. If they are unsuccessful, they cannot work as graduate nurses.

“A friend that wrote with me on July 9 is on her third try — that’s kind of nerve-wracking,” Dyke said.

Barb Fitz-Gerald, interim registrar with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA), said the pass rates on the CCRNR website cover the first six months of the exam, which does not provide enough data to draw evidence-based conclusions.

“We continue to work with the schools as the results come out,” she said.

I think the most frustrating part is that our program didn’t prepare us for the NCLEX — not at all. — Brooklyn Brown

Fitz-Gerald added those who fail three times can request additional rewrites, if there are extenuating circumstances.

“These requests are always reviewed by the registrar and they may be sent to the registration and membership committee, which is made up of RNs and public representatives,” she said.

Dyke believes the new test should have been implemented in the first of her four-year program, which is offered jointly by the Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina.

“It’s the format of the exam that’s changed, but not the content,” said Fitz-Gerald, adding there are higher pass rates on the second write.

Dyke wants American-type questions deleted from the test.

Although the test was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in the U.S., all content was reviewed by Canadian nurses, including clinical educators, Fitz-Gerald said.

The NCLEX tests competencies required for a new RN to provide safe care, regardless of where the nurse is located, Fitz-Gerald said.

“There might be some focus on chemotherapy, but it should be looking at the basic skills and knowledge that’s taught in providing care,” she said.

The SRNA’s website includes resources to help students prepare for the NCLEX and a joint regulatory academic roundtable has been initiated to discuss the NCLEX with students and faculty.

“We’ve got a really strong partnership with the schools as well as the students,” Fitz-Gerald said.

Source :http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/high-number-of-saskatchewan-graduate-nurses-failing-national-exam

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