Next Generation NCLEX-PN® Test Plan 2023
NCLEX-PN Test Plan Structure
The NCLEX Examination Committee (NEC) is responsible for reviewing and approving the NCLEX-PN test plan. This blueprint contains the exam’s content distribution, which will be critical as you plan your studies. For example, you’re much more likely to come across a question on Coordinated Care than one on Health Promotion and Maintenance. The percentage weight of each client needs category is detailed below. Here’ is the test plan’s general structure:
- Client Needs
- Integrated Processes
- Clinical Judgment
Accurate assessments that predict your readiness
Client Needs Categories
|Client Needs||% of Items|
|Safe and Effective Care Environment|
|Health Promotion and Maintenance||6–12%|
Safe and Effective Care Environment
The Safe and Effective Care Environment category is weighted at 28-40% of the NCLEX-PN. Its purpose is to ensure that PNs are capable of delivering safe care to patients in a variety of settings and is divided into the two following sub-categories:
- Coordinated Care (18-24%) — Includes working with other healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive seamless, continuous, and comprehensive care. Tasks include conducting patient assessments, managing medications, and ensuring smooth transitions between different levels of care.
- Safety and Infection Control (10-16%) — Refers to measures taken by healthcare professionals to prevent the spread of infection between patients, staff, and visitors. Such measures include identifying potential hazards, implementing policies and procedures to prevent infection, using personal protective equipment (PPE), practicing good hygiene, and handling/disposing of hazardous material with care.
Health Promotion and Maintenance
The Health Promotion and Maintenance category is weighted at 6-12% of the NCLEX-PN. This category involves activities and interventions that help individuals, families, and communities maintain and improve their overall health and well-being. This involves:
- Promoting healthy lifestyles
- Preventing illness and injury
- Managing chronic health conditions
- Educating patients about healthy behaviors
- Promoting regular health screenings and vaccinations
- Identifying and addressing health concerns early
In action, this may include providing support and guidance to patients and their families as they manage a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease or educating patients on proper nutrition or smoking cessation. The primary goal here is for healthcare professionals to help their patients prevent or manage chronic diseases, maintain optimal health, and improve their overall quality of life.
The Psychosocial Integrity category is weighted at 9-15% of the NCLEX-PN. Examinees will be tested on their knowledge and skills as they relate to providing care to patients with mental health and psychosocial issues. Healthcare professionals must provide holistic care that addresses both the physical and emotional needs of patients. Important topics include:
- Therapeutic communication
- Coping mechanisms
- Mental health disorders
- Substance abuse
- Grief and loss
- Family dynamics
Covers foundational aspects of nursing care—providing hygiene and comfort, assisting with mobility, managing pain, providing emotional support, and practicing effective communication.
Covers the safe and effective administration of medications. Includes the principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and medication interactions. Examinees must demonstrate their ability to monitor for adverse drug reactions and implement appropriate interventions.
Focuses on the prevention of complications and adverse events (e.g., falls, infections, and complications related to procedures or treatments) and how to monitor for potential complications and implement appropriate safety measures.
Includes the care of patients with acute or chronic physiological changes—alterations in vital signs, oxygenation, and fluid/electrolyte balance. Examinees must demonstrate their ability to care for patients with acute or chronic conditions (e.g., respiratory distress, heart failure, and diabetes.)
Building mutual respect and trust and creating a collaborative and compassionate environment.
Thinking critically and providing evidence-based solutions based on prioritized concerns.
Collecting data, planning, implementing, and evaluating in order to approach client care scientifically.
Includes verbal and nonverbal (i.e., written/electronic records) interactions between nurses, clients, and other healthcare professionals.
Considers a patient’s reported or self-identified preferences as well as associated legal considerations.
Facilitating a positive learning environment and promoting productive changes in behavior.
The NCSBN created the Clinical Judgment Measurement Model (NCJMM) to provide a framework for better understanding and evaluating candidates' clinical judgment. This was done to emphasize the significance of clinical judgment and ensure that all entry-level nurses have the clinical judgment skills necessary to provide safe and effective care. Six quantifiable processes in the clinical decision-making process are the emphasis of the NCJMM's third tier.
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