Next Generation NCLEX-RN® Test Plan 2023
NCLEX-RN Test Plan Structure
The NCLEX Examination Committee (NEC) reviews and approves the NCLEX-RN test plan, which includes a content distribution blueprint. This blueprint will be key as you develop your study plan. For example, you’re more likely to receive more questions on physiological adaptation than on basic care and comfort. The relative weight of each client needs category is detailed in the outline below. The test plan's general structure is as follows:
- 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 NCLEX-RN's Safe and Effective Care Environment category carries a 25–37% weighting. It's designed to ensure that RNs can provide safe treatment to patients in a variety of settings and is broken down into the two following sub-categories:
- Management of Care (15-21%) — Nurses with strong management of care skills can prioritize patient needs, delegate tasks to other healthcare professionals, and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement care plans. This category also covers the management of healthcare resources, including time, personnel, and supplies, to ensure that patient care is delivered efficiently and effectively.
- Safety and Infection Control (10-16%) — Refers to the steps taken by medical personnel to stop the transmission of infections to patients, employees, and visitors. These precautions include spotting possible risks, putting infection control policies and procedures in place, utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE), keeping oneself clean, and handling and disposing of hazardous materials with care.
Health Promotion and Maintenance
The NCLEX-RN category—Health Promotion and Maintenance—is weighted at 6–12%. This category focuses on activities and interventions that assist people, families, and communities in preserving and enhancing their general health and well-being. This entails:
- 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
Maintaining optimal health, preventing or managing chronic diseases, and enhancing patients' overall quality of life are the key objectives for healthcare practitioners. In practice, this can mean assisting patients and their families with the management of a chronic illness like diabetes or heart disease or instructing patients on good nutrition, or quitting smoking.
The NCLEX-RN's Psychosocial Integrity category carries a 6–12% weighting. Candidates will be assessed on their knowledge and abilities in relation to treating patients with mental health and psychosocial problems. Healthcare providers must offer patients holistic care that takes into account both their physical and emotional requirements. Important subjects consist of:
- Therapeutic communication
- Coping mechanisms
- Mental health disorders
- Substance abuse
- Grief and loss
- Family dynamics
Focuses on the fundamentals of nursing care, such as aiding with mobility, controlling discomfort, offering emotional support, and engaging in efficient communication.
Elaborates on how to administer medication in a safe and efficient manner. Includes pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacology principles. Examinees must show that they can keep an eye out for negative drug reactions and put the right measures in place.
Covers the prevention of complications and adverse events such as falls, infections, and complications from surgeries or treatments, as well as how to keep an eye out for drug-related complications and put the right safety precautions in place.
Consists of treating patients who have either acute or long-term physiological abnormalities, such as changes to their vital signs, oxygenation, or fluid/electrolyte balance. This subcategory also covers the skills needed for competent care for patients with acute or chronic illnesses, such as respiratory distress, heart failure, and diabetes.
Fostering mutual respect and trust as well as fostering a compassionate and cooperative environment.
Thinking critically, providing evidence-based solutions, and prioritizing 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 and recognizes related legal considerations.
Nurturing a positive learning environment and establishing positive behavior changes.
To underscore the importance of clinical judgment and ensure all entry-level nurses have the clinical judgment skills necessary to provide safe and effective care, the NCSBN developed the Clinical Judgment Measurement Model (NCJMM) to provide a framework to better understand and assess candidates' clinical judgment. Tier three of the NCJMM is focused on six measurable steps in the clinical decision-making process.
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