The National Council of State Boards of
Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN®) voted on Dec. 10, 2009, to raise the passing
standard for the NCLEX-RN® Examination (the National Council Licensure
Examination for Registered Nurses). The new passing standard is -0.16
logits on the NCLEX-RN logistic scale, 0.05 logits higher than the previous
standard of -0.21. The new passing standard will take effect on April 1,
2010, in conjunction with the "2010 NCLEX-RN® Test Plan."
After consideration of all available information, the NCSBN Board of
Directors determined that safe and effective entry-level RN practice
requires a greater level of knowledge, skills, and abilities than was
required in 2007, when NCSBN implemented the current standard. The passing
standard was increased in response to changes in U.S. health care delivery
and nursing practice that have resulted in the greater acuity of clients
seen by entry-level RNs.
The Board of Directors used multiple sources of information to guide its
evaluation and discussion regarding the change in passing standard. As part
of this process, NCSBN convened an expert panel of nine nurses to perform a
criterion-referenced standard setting procedure. The panel's findings
supported the creation of a higher passing standard. NCSBN also considered
the results of national surveys of nursing professionals including nursing
educators, directors of nursing in acute care settings and administrators
of long-term care facilities.