Feb
22

NBCRNA Updates

By

DGThere has been so much going on.  One of the projects that is in the works is to get others to participate and write for the nurseanesthetist.org web site.  I have invited several to submit articles that would be beneficial to the SRNA community.  Here I am opening the door to others that may want to write for the web site.  Our focus here has been the SRNA but we could open the window a bit and include general anesthesia topics.  These ideas would also certainly be welcome reading for the potential SRNA candidate as well as those already in programs.

The reason I am writing today is to make sure everyone is aware of the moves in the certification process set forth by the NBCRNA – the certification body for all CRNA’s nationally.  Periodically the NBCRNA does a review of their criteria for the certification examination.  An email was just received this morning with news that will certainly effect junior SRNA’s that will be graduating after January 1st 2014.  The bar is going to be higher.  To quote the NBCRNA, “The Board’s decision to raise the passing standard recognizes that healthcare in general and the provision of anesthesia services grow ever more complex, requiring practitioners to have greater knowledge and skills. The new standard will continue to provide assurance to the public that entry-level nurse anesthetists possess the knowledge required to provide anesthesia care.”

Let me say that again.  The passing bar for the national certification examination to become a CRNA will be raised.  The questions will not be different on the exam but I am guessing that the passing score will be more of a challenge and consequently passing rates will decline.  What does this mean for you now that you are in school stressed with exam schedules and clinical rotations.  You will have to work harder and study more.  What good would it do to spend all of your resources and time to graduate from a program of nurse anesthesia to NOT PASS THE NATIONAL EXAM.  No pass – no license period.

Every year students graduate and fail to pass the national examination.  Despite all of the review material available there are those that do not pass on the first try.  Eventually most pass.  If you are working as a GRNA – a graduate that has not taken the exam yet – you have several months before you must pass the exam or loose your job.  If as a GRNA you take the exam and do not pass you loose your job.  As a consequence most that hire graduating SRNA’s will wait till the candidate passes the certification examination before taking on a the new employee.  Nervous yet?

Study study study is the cure.

Here is the letter that was mailed out this morning from the NBCRNA

Friday, February 22, 2013

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) has voted to raise the passing standard for the National Certification Examination (NCE). The passing standard is the level of knowledge or ability that must be demonstrated in order to achieve a passing score on the NCE. Effective January 1, 2014, all graduates who take the exam will be measured by the new standard.

 

The NBCRNA periodically evaluates the passing standard to ensure it reflects current expectations for competent professional performance at entry-level. The Board’s decision to raise the passing standard recognizes that healthcare in general and the provision of anesthesia services grow ever more complex, requiring practitioners to have greater knowledge and skills. The new standard will continue to provide assurance to the public that entry-level nurse anesthetists possess the knowledge required to provide anesthesia care.

 

The NBCRNA Board of Directors accepted the recommendation to increase the passing standard made by a panel of certified registered nurse anesthetists who met to analyze the appropriateness of the current standard for the certification examination. Periodic standard-setting studies are required by our own accrediting agencies, and the procedure we follow is firmly grounded in the testing literature and used by numerous other credentialing bodies, including the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in its NCLEX examination. Subject matter experts representing a diverse sample of anesthesia providers throughout the United States participated in the standard-setting meeting. The panel members were nurse anesthetists who were identified primarily for their familiarity with the skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level practice. They were selected to represent a variety of regions, work settings (urban vs. rural), ethnicities and gender. The panel followed the same Bookmark Method that was used when the passing standard was last adjusted in 2008 to reach consensus on a recommended passing standard. The NBCRNA Board of Directors then met and decided to increase the passing standard based on the panel’s recommendation. More information on the Bookmark Method of standard-setting is available on the NBCRNA website athttp://www.nbcrna.com/certification.

 

Students should know that raising the standard does not mean the individual questions on the NCE will be more difficult. The NCE is adaptive, which means that only questions appropriate to the ability level of the examinee will be administered. Providing early notification of the change will enable schools and examinees to prepare for the NCE.

 

Sincerely,

Charles Vacchiano, PhD, CRNA

 

NBCRNA President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories : General

Comments

  1. So what do you think of their decision, David? I think it’s silly to arbitrarily “raise the bar” without evidence. The result will be more attention paid to abstract, rare, theoretical facets of anesthesia care instead of focusing on clinical expertise.

  2. David says:

    Nick,
    No, the questions will be the same basically knowing that this is a “smart” test and will taylor the questions from the data bank based on passed responses. The only difference is that the passing GRADE must be higher. Just as an example, if per say the passing score would be 88% and they raise the bar to 92% of right answers to questions asked. You know that there will be some decrease in pass rate. Its just simple math.
    I don’t know what the passing level has been and do not know to what level it is being raised. All I know is that the passing score will be higher as of Jan 2014.

  3. Casey Blood says:

    David,

    You missed Nick’s point. Changing the passing grade from 88 to 92 does not validate the ability of a SRNA to provide safe quality anesthesia. All it only validates their ability to retain knowledge to pass a test. If they were truly interested in increasing the “Bar” they would be looking towards something that tests the clinical skill. You will find no supporting research that would conclude with, test score defines competency. However, you will find lots of research that supports just the opposite. Most research has shown that written exams are the lowest and least accurate way to measure a student’s competency.

  4. David Roy says:

    Casey,
    You make really good points. I will humbly say, “OK”. I personally was not involved in the decision to change the testing and did not hear the arguments for or against. I’ll look into it further.
    DG

Feedburner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

website security