The "new" clinical judgment model

The NCSBN currently plans to integrate a clinical judgment model into their tests in 2022-2023. If you are just starting nursing school, this will affect you in some way.

These new types of questions, including things like short case studies, are being tested now in the research section of the test.

This is a logical way to test. Over the decades that nurses have been subjected to licensing tests, the test has progressed from basic knowledge of anatomy and tools, to analysis questions that ask which is the best answer, and now the questions will evolve to ensure nurses can pull out important cues within the context of actually providing patient care.

That progression follows the path that nursing has followed. In the early days, nursing care was basic and under direct physician guidance. This is no longer true. We interact and provide care that is critically based on our ability to recognize what is happening and what is the best course of action. We titrate

This impacts students in two important ways:

  1. Faculty will begin pushing you to think harder in class and use more case-based scenarios. This includes many of the programs that your school uses in the program to test your competence in any area, like Kaplan or ATI.
  2. Your instructors may be a little uptight about this. Just so you know, there is lots of buzz in the nursing educator community about this "new" model of testing and what it might mean for NCLEX pass rates.
  3. Schools are judged pretty harshly about this pass rate, so, it is a bit of a big deal even though we all just really want you to be awesome nurses.

Here is what we think you need to know.

  1. The questions will look different. This is not a reason to be frightened. If anything, you may find that the application to 'real world' situations is very helpful.
  2. The clinical judgment model is not really "new". There are tons of models like this out there tested over years. It is also not that different from the nursing process we all know and love. Take a peak at this comparison chart.

The steps are pretty similar between processes, aren't they?