ADA And Nclex-RN Essays Example
The purpose of this paper is multi-pronged. The first objective of the paper is to describe the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the assessment of nursing students in classroom and clinical settings. The ADA is a federal legislation that prohibits the discrimination of individuals with disabilities in areas such as public accommodations, employment, telecommunications, and education. The act was enacted in 1990 and amended in 2008. The second purpose of the paper is to discuss why increasing the tests per nursing course is an inadequate measure for addressing declining student performance on the NCLEX-RN and certification exams.
The actual impact of the ADA and subsequent amendments on nursing education programs are not fully elucidated. It is, however, assumed that the number of qualified applicants with disabilities increased due to the changes in the interpretation of disability brought about by the 2008 amendments to the ADA. The act provides for qualified persons with a disability to join nursing education programs. Qualified persons with a disability are individuals who with or without reasonable accommodations meet the important eligibility requirements of a nursing program. Once a student self-reports that he or she is unable to meet the core performance standards of a nursing education program devoid of reasonable expectations, the school has a responsibility to assess and make reasonable accommodations for the student if they are feasible. With regards to exams in classroom and clinical settings, the reasonable accommodations can include ensuring that exam facilities are accessible to students with disabilities. Others entail restructuring of clinical examination scenarios or experiences, modification of academic program plans, provision of qualified interpreters, and modification of examinations for instance the location, timing as well as testing conditions (Southern Regional Educational Board, 2015).
On the second objective of the paper, increasing the number of tests students take per each course might be partially effective in enhancing student NCLEX-RN pass rates. This is because research findings suggest that the process of retrieving information from one’s memory plays an important role in long-term learning and retention (Karpicke & Blunt, 2011). These findings overwhelmingly support the notion that test-taking as opposed to passive learning techniques lead to better long-term retention of materials. In addition, student scores in nursing courses, standardized examinations as well as end-of-program exit examinations have been found in some studies to predict NCLEX-RN failure. For instance, failure in one of the nursing courses in one study was found to predict NCLEX-RN failure (Roncoli, Lisanti, & Falcone, 2000). Grade Point Average (GPA), on the other hand, has been found to be a predictor of NCLEX-RN performance. Students who pass NCLEX-RN on their first attempt tent to have higher GPAs compared to those who fail the exam (Frith, Sewell, & Clark, 2008).
However, it should be noted that student performance on a test is also influenced by other factors such as student readiness to take the exam, anxiety, and social problems. Indeed test anxiety has been associated with exam performance. Eddy & Epeneter (2002), on the other hand, interviewed students who had passed and failed in the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt. Students who passed the exam reported that they took the exam when they were ready, took responsibility for their own learning, paced their preparation, and utilized coping techniques to cope with test anxiety. Students who had failed in the exam reported not having a reasonable study plan, feeling confident prior to the exam and anxiety during the exam, and taking the exams at a time when they were not ready. Bearing in mind the multiple confounding factors that influence student performance on tests, a more comprehensive approach to improve student performance is recommended. The strategy proposed is an additional multifaceted course that should incorporate review, practice, and support. The course should review nursing content and contain practice questions. In addition, it should equip students with test-taking skills, good study habits, and anxiety coping strategies. Classes for the course should be commenced during the first year and offered up to the end of the nursing course (Frith, Sewell, & Clarke, 2008).
In summary, this paper has described the impact of the ADA on assessment of nursing students in classroom and clinical settings. It has established that the act requires reasonable accommodations to be made to enable students with disabilities to meet the core performance standards of a course. These accommodations may include changing of exam venues and restructuring of clinical experiences. The paper has also explored in an in-depth manner the reasons why addition of tests for each nursing course will not be effective in improving student pass rates on the NCLEX-RN and other certification exams.
Eddy, L. & Epeneter, B. (2002). The NCLEX-RN experience: qualitative interviews with graduates of a baccalaureate nursing program. J Nurs Educ., 41(6), 273-278.
Frith, K. H., Sewell, J. P., & Clark, D. J. (2008). Best practices in NCLEX-RN readiness preparation for baccalaureate student success. Computers, Informatics, and Nursing, 26(5), 46s-53s.
Karpicke, J.D., & Blunt, J.R. (2011). Retrieval practice produces more learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping. Science, 772, 772-775.
Roncoli, M., Lisanti, P., & Falcone, A. (2000). Characteristics of baccalaureate graduates and NCLEX-RN performance. J N Y State Nurses Assoc., 31(1), 17-19.
Southern Regional Educational Board (2015). The Americans with disability act: Implications for nursing education. Retrieved from http://www.sreb.org/page/1390/the_americans_with_disabilities_act.html