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Effective Utilization of Computerized Curricular Assistive Tools in Improving NCLEX-RN Pass Rates for a Baccalaureate Nursing Program

Shoemaker, Joy R. DNP, APRN; Chavez, Ruth A. DNP, APRN; Keane, Patricia PhD, APRN; Butz, Susan DNP, RN, CCRN; Yowler, Susan K. MSN, RN, CNE

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: April 2017 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 194–200
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000311

Achieving satisfactory first-time pass rates on the national nursing licensure examination represents a challenge for nursing programs across the United States. The consequences of examination failure for first-time test takers can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Nursing programs are evaluated by national higher-education credentialing bodies and state boards of nursing based on the first-time pass rate of their students. One Midwestern nursing program faced unsatisfactory first-time pass rates and developed strategies for improving first-time pass rates over a 3-year period. The nursing program utilized several strategies documented in the literature but found implementing computerized curricular assistive tools that complemented the nursing program’s curriculum to be most effective. In addition, changing faculty and student culture on preparation for the national licensure examination was beneficial to all involved in the process.

Author Affiliations: Nursing Department, Otterbein University, Westerville, OH (Drs Shoemaker, Chavez, Keane, and Butz); and ATI Nursing Education, Leawood, KS (Ms Yowler).

The authors were participants in the ATI Applied Research Team program, sponsored by ATI. At the time that the manuscript was being developed, Ms Yowler worked as an ATI nurse educator assisting the nursing faculty at Otterbein University to implement the ATI resources that they purchased from ATI Nursing Education. Ms Yowler did not work in ATI sales or marketing departments during her work with Otterbein University.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Joy R. Shoemaker, DNP, APRN, Nursing Department, Otterbein University, Science Center, 1 South Grove St, Westerville, OH 43081 (

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