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Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing Education: The Basics from Accreditation to Examination

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

Accrediting organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) work autonomously to contribute to effective educational organizations by promoting growth and development of comprehensive nursing programs. The CCNE follows the Association of Specialized & Professional Accreditors (ASPA) Code of Good Practice, which delineates the responsibilities involved in the objective role of establishing worthy education.

The professional nurse is responsible for being knowledgeable and contributing to the role they are striving to fulfill. Nursing programs that have been accredited to meet the educational standards set forth by the accrediting body, deliver the necessary education to develop nurse competencies. Nurses are able to use their education to provide to health, educational, and organizational systems.

In order for nursing graduates to be evaluated for the competencies they have attained, licensure examination is warranted. The examination evaluates whether the nurse is able to practice as the definition describes. Licensure examinations act as appropriate evaluation tools to timely evaluate the abilities of the new graduate nurse before allowing full autonomous practice. Accountability to the variety of stakeholders involved, including the nurse themselves, must be preserved and encouraged. The foundation of accountability rests in a reliable evaluation process from initiation of education to completion of licensure.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) assesses the nurse’s ability to apply theoretical knowledge to clinical situations by using the nursing process. Nurse educators can incorporate well-constructed NCLEX-style questions into classroom evaluation testing in order to prepare nursing students to successfully pass the licensure examination, as well as develop connections between theoretical and clinical processes.

Faculty, Pause and Reflect: Is your nursing program accredited? How can you work to support your accreditation process to obtain or maintain accreditation? Are you incorporating multiple evaluation tools into your teaching-learning experiences? Do you include examinations with current, relevant NCLEX-style questions?


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