1. Nicoll, Leslie H. PhD, MBA, RN, BC, Editor-in-Chief
  2. Nibert, Ainslie T. PhD, RN

Article Content

From the Editorial Office, CIN

In nursing, we like to talk about the "body of nursing knowledge" and the research that is undertaken in an effort to create that knowledge. This supplement reflects an emerging body of knowledge around predicting NCLEX success and benchmarking student progress. It is exciting, as the Editor-in-Chief of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, to be able to bring this information to you.


I received the first article in this series1 in late 1998. At that time, I knew very little about HESI testing, something that was to change over the years. As the articles continued to flow in, it became apparent to me that important research was being done. I remember very well the comments of one reviewer on the fourth validity study:4 "The latest in this series-well done, important work. A good contribution to the literature."


We have assembled this collection of articles and letters, originally published in CIN and Nurse Educator, with the intent to bring value to those in education who use, or are considering the use, of tools such as this. I have asked Ainslie T. Nibert, PhD, RN, Director of Research at Health Education Systems, Inc, to prepare a brief introduction to provide context for you, the reader.


This supplement represents a defining moment in the development of this particular body of knowledge, but it is not the end. Continue to look in the pages of CIN and Nurse Educator for ongoing research and scholarly dialog about this important work.


Leslie H. Nicoll, PhD, MBA, RN, BC




From Health Education Systems, Inc, Sponsor of this Supplement

Health Education Systems, Inc (HESI), assists nursing faculty in the evaluation component of curriculum design. Since 1989, HESI's mission has focused on providing excellent evaluation measures, specifically, computerized exams that measure the examinee's ability to apply nursing concepts in clinical practice. Computerized testing in nursing education has evolved from a little-known trend to the widely accepted gold standard for both individual student assessment and total program outcome evaluation.


The contents of the supplement are the result of nearly a decade of interest and investigation by faculty regarding the use of HESI testing as a mainstay in curriculum evaluation for all types of nursing education programs. Below is a brief summary of the articles included in this supplement:


* The authors of four validity studies that were conducted over four academic years with a composite sample of 19,554 RN and PN students' scores concluded that the HESI Exit Exam was 96.49% to 98.46% accurate in predicting NCLEX success.1-4


* Because of its high degree of predictive accuracy, the HESI Exit Exam (E2) was used as a benchmark for remediation and progression. Schools that implemented the use of E2 scores as benchmarks for progression improved their NCLEX-RN pass rates by 9-41% within two years.5


* A follow-up study described progression policies, identified the most frequently selected benchmark scores, and explored remediation strategies.6


* Remediation sessions developed by faculty were useful in helping students improve their HESI Mid-curricular Exam scores.7


* To evaluate program outcomes and provide evidence-based rationale for curricular development and modification, the methods used to measure the reliability and validity of HESI exams were described.8



Evidence-based research findings such as those described by the authors of the articles within this supplement indicate that HESI testing continues to positively impact nursing education and practice, and more studies focusing on evaluation in nursing education are currently underway. Nursing research findings published in peer-reviewed journals such as CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing and Nurse Educator support the continued use of HESI exams in nursing education programs and ultimately enhance HESI's ability to provide psychometrically sound exams within the field of nursing.


Ainslie T. Nibert, PhD, RN


Director of Research


Health Education Systems, Inc (HESI)




1. Lauchner K, Newman M, Britt R. Predicting licensure success with a computerized comprehensive nursing exam: the HESI Exit Exam. Comput Nurs. 1999;17(3):120-125. [Context Link]


2. Newman M, Britt R, Lauchner K. Predictive accuracy of the HESI Exit Exam: a follow-up study. Comput Nurs. 2000;18(3):132-136. [Context Link]


3. Nibert A, Young A. A third study on predicting NCLEX success with the HESI Exit Exam. Comput Nurs. 2001;19(4):172-178. [Context Link]


4. Nibert A, Young A, Adamson C. Predicting NCLEX success with the HESI Exit Exam: Fourth annual validity study. Comput Inform Nurs. 2002;20(6):261-267. [Context Link]


5. Morrison S, Free K, Newman M. Do progression and remediation policies improve NCLEX-RN pass rates? Nurse Educ. 2002;27(2):94-96. [Context Link]


6. Nibert A, Young A, Britt R. The HESI Exit Exam: progression benchmark and remediation guide. Nurse Educ. 2003; 28(3):41-145. [Context Link]


7. English J, Gordon D. Successful student remediation following repeated failures on the HESI exam. Nurse Educ. 2004;29(6): 266-268. [Context Link]


8. Morrison S, Adamson C, Hsia S. HESI exams: An overview of reliability and validity. Comput Inform Nurs. 2004;22(4):220-226. [Context Link]