Predictors of performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

Mary Ann Myers Henriques

Abstract

The culmination of nursing education for students in baccalaureate nursing programs is passage of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). An unsuccessful attempt to pass this examination may result in financial and emotional hardships on the individual, family members, and healthcare institutions. The purpose of this study was to examine certain achievement tests and other diagnostic tools which could predict a graduated nursing student's ability to pass the NCLEX-RN. The setting for this study was a small private, church affiliated baccalaureate nursing program in the southeastern part of the United States. Data were compiled from an initial sample of 279 subjects. However, due to missing or incomplete data for some of the subjects, the final sample group totaled 152. Of this number, 135 (n = 135) had passed the NCLEX-RN and 17 (n = 17) had failed the NLCEX-RN with one attempt. Seven variables were identified as possible predictors of NLCEX-RN success for the sample population. The variables included grade point average scores, Pre-Nursing Guidance test scores, Nelson-Denny Reading Test scores, California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory scores, individual learning styles, California Critical Thinking Skills Test scores, and the Diagnostic Readiness Test scores. Multiple linear regression was used to test the relationship between all of the identified variables and a graduated nursing student's ability to pass the NCLEX-RN. The hierarchical method was used to test the independent relationship between the variables and a graduated nursing student's ability to pass the NCLEX-RN. The results of the study showed two predictors of NCLEX-RN success from the seven which were tested. There were two primary predictors of NCLEX-RN success determined from the statistical analyses. These predictors were the reading level of the subjects as measured by the Nelson-Denny Reading Test and the Diagnostic Readiness Test. The remaining five variables showed no predictive values for predicting NCLEX-RN success, either in combination or independently, in the sample population.