School of Nursing faculty to write for NCLEX-RN

By Mandi Enger

Nevada State College Nursing Lecturer Susan Growe has been designated by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to serve on the 2013 item writing panel for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Nursing faculty members and clinicians from across the country are invited to apply for the volunteer positions each year; however, a limited number are selected from each state to participate on the prestigious panel.

Growe will travel to Chicago this August to contribute to the weeklong writing conference.

It's an honor to have been chosen to represent both our state and Nevada State College on the NCLEX-RN item writing panel, said Growe. Every nurse in the nation is required to take this exam prior to beginning work and I m delighted to provide my input and help uphold a standard of excellence in our field. Writing for the exam has been on my bucket list since I began teaching.

Participants on the panel will work closely as a group to develop questions referencing nursing course materials commonly utilized in all states. Questions submitted by the panel will go through an item review committee, followed by a panel of judges that will recommend final exam questions to the NCSBN Board of Directors.

The NSC School of Nursing is very proud and excited for Professor Growe as she takes on this leadership role, added Interim Dean Sherrilyn Coffman. The knowledge she will gain during her experience on the panel will benefit both our students and faculty.

BSN graduates completing the six-hour NCLEX-RN are required to complete a minimum of 75 item questions with a maximum of 265, based on computer adaptive testing. Approximately 15 experimental questions, or new questions developed by the annual item writing panel, are included in the exam each year.

RNs in Nevada are only required to pass the NCLEX-RN once; however, they must maintain their license by completing 30 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years. Individuals participating on the NCLEX-RN item writing panel, including Growe, will earn 32 CEUs.

Through my experience on the writing panel, I will be able to prepare our students for the licensure exam by exposing them to NCLEX-RN level questions throughout the curriculum and coursework at NSC, Growe commented.

In order to maintain the integrity of the exam, faculty participants are unable to share details on the item writing conference, question writing techniques, or sample questions with colleagues or students in the classroom for three years after their participation. However, once the provisional period has passed, participants are free to present details of their experience with other faculty members in order to inform future test questions developed for college coursework.

Currently working towards a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Touro University of Nevada, Growe has been a member of the NSC School of Nursing faculty for seven years. Her course offerings include fundamentals for first semester students and pathophysiology.

My favorite part of the nursing profession is patient care and interaction, added Growe. I also love teaching, and as a faculty member at NSC, I have the opportunity to interact with patients and students during clinicals. It's the best of both worlds.

Growe additional serves as the Director at Large for the Nevada Nurses Association and the Vice President of the Zeta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

The pass rate for NSC nursing graduates completing the NCLEX-RN during the first quarter of 2013 was 100%.

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