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NCSBN's Next Generation NCLEX: 3 Reasons It's Time for a Momentous Change

Mar 7, 2021, 15:05 PM
<1.75-min. read> The National Council of the State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) took an analytical look at the NCLEX. Its research revealed the need to assess clinical judgment via the Next Generation NCLEX.


The following is a transcript of the above video featuring a conversation between Philip Dickison, PhD, RN, Chief Officer, Examinations, NCSBN, and Sheryl Sommer, PhD, RN, CNE, Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, ATI.* 

Stay up-to-date on the Next Generation NCLEX.

Q: Can you give us some background about the Next Generation NCLEX initiative and how that got started?

Next Generation NCLEX planA: I think one of the important things to know is that, quite frankly, there’s not 1 reason it got started. There are many reasons.

Q: How long has NCSBN been considering a change?

A: It’s been going on — as an idea — for maybe 5 years. And some real work for maybe 3 years.

Q: What concern caused the need for change?

A: If there were just a single reason, we would have already solved it. Once you started peeling the onion, you started seeing some different things.

For instance, where you’re licensing people — and as a public-protection issue — any test program should ask itself a fundamental question: “Are you testing the right things?”

So, about 6 years ago, I said, “It’s time for us to do a deep dive in this ‘Are you testing the right things.’” So that was one thing.

Q: What else?

Next Gen NCLEX student studyingA: We started uncovering how education has changed tremendously. It [used to be] textbook-based work, and that’s not the case anymore. People are learning online, through videos, and online discourse — a variety of things that are a lot different.

And you look at the exams being offered — not just in nursing but almost anywhere. They’re standard, multiple-choice, text-based questions. So that was another element: How do you make testing look like education?

Q: Anything else that’s changed?

A: As we started looking at “are we testing the right things,” it required us to fundamentally go out and say, “What is practice really like?” So [for the first time] we conducted an observational practice analysis.

Watch other interviews with Dr. Dickison

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Clinical Reasoning vs. Clinical Judgment: What’s the Difference for Next Generation NCLEX?

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Clinical Judgment: Critical Components & Assessment 

*This discussion took place at the National Nurse Educator Summit in April 2018 in Salt Lake City. Next Generation NCLEX FAQs