August 6, 2014 - The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Board of Directors has approved a revised definition of the entry-level nurse in the NCLEX environment, which was the result of analysis leading to the question of what constitutes the length of the entry-level period. The designation of entry-level will now be defined as a nurse having no more than 12 months of experience; previously it was defined as a nurse having no more than six months of experience.
NCLEX examinations are developed to measure the minimum knowledge, skills and abilities required to deliver safe, effective nursing care at the entry level. Part of the development process is to periodically review and define the examinee profile, the practice environment for entry-level nurses and the environment’s effect on the length of the entry-level period.
NCSBN conducts the NCLEX practice analyses every three years to examine entry-level practice. Using the data collected from these studies, NCSBN develops the NCLEX Test Plans. Analysis of data from a nine-year span indicates that the health care environment has become increasingly complex and what defines entry-level nursing should be reevaluated. NCSBN then researched practices used in other professions to identify the entry-level period, the current entry-level practice environment, today’s client population and the results of a nurse focus group and arrived at the new definition that will be used from this point forward.
Read more details on the research behind the change in the entry-level definition.