Exploring Concept-Based Curriculum: A Paradigm Shift to Improving National Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) First Time Pass Rates
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A decline in first time National Licensure Examination Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®) pass rates places a Kansas rural community college associate degree nursing (ADN) program in jeopardy of losing national accreditation. The pass rates for the first time NCLEX-RN® have not met benchmark for the past three years. Nationally accredited nursing programs must maintain a three-year national mean for licensure exam pass rates; the first time pass rates must be at, or above, the national mean (Accreditation Commission for Education Nursing, 2013). The three-year national mean for the ADN program from 2011 to 2013 was 71.36%, as compared to the national mean 86.55%. Multiple curriculum revisions have been attempted with no improvement in pass rates. The ADN program also performs biannual reviews of course competencies with comparisons to the NCLEX-RN® test plan and cumulative results from Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) RN Comprehensive Predictor. Despite ADN programs’ various efforts to increase NCLEX-RN® pass rates, the pass rates have remained low. Concept-based curriculums increase first time pass rates as high as 90% (Pearson, 2009). This exploratory pilot project proposed that the implementation of a concept-based curriculum should assist the ADN program with improving the first time pass rates for the nursing program.
Keywords: content-based curriculum, concept-based curriculum, NCLEX pass rates