Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 32(4) December 2019 : 30-45.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2020.26103
What the Research Tells Us

Predictors of Success in the NCLEX-RN for Canadian Graduates

Rose McCloskey, Connie Stewart and Lisa Keeping Burke


The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) has been the nursing licensure exam in most Canadian jurisdictions since 2015. Nursing faculty across the country have invested considerable effort into understanding the NCLEX-RN, so they could help to prepare students to be successful in the exam. A retrospective study was conducted at one Canadian university to identify predictors of success on the NCLEX-RN. Findings revealed that the strongest predictors of success were a grade point average of >3.5 and a course grade in the community development course. The strong predictive value of the community development course was unexpected, and this suggests that content specifically related to acute care may not play as heavy a role in the NCLEX-RN outcome as previously expected. It is possible that students' higher levels of cognitive abilities, such as application, analysis and synthesis of nursing knowledge, play a larger role in the exam outcome than content-specific knowledge.



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