Did you know the NCSN exam is written, built, reviewed, and edited by school nurses for school nurses? It is! 

The NBCSN Exam Development Committee has continued to work with and recruit a group of NCSN subject matter experts (SMEs) for this year’s projects! We successfully conducted a spring Problem Item Notification (PIN) call, where SMEs worked collaboratively with Prometric to evaluate how test items scored on the exam. The SME panel evaluated questions and decided to: a) retain the item, b) put the item back for further editing and pretesting again, or c) archive the item from the bank. 

Based on the results of the PIN call, we will also be conducting a mid-year Form Review. SMEs, along with Prometric, will examine every item on each of the three test forms. During this process, SMEs check to see that there is no overlapping content, hidden answers, or contradicting information. 

During the summer, we will be working on two projects to improve the NCSN test bank. The first project will focus on item review. SMEs will review items that are in a draft status. The SMEs will go through a training, hosted by Prometric, and will decide to: a) retain the item for pretesting, b) edit the item for pretesting, or c) archive the item. The second project will focus on item re-referencing. SMEs will review items and the associated reference for that item. The SMEs will use the NCSN primary resources to update the item reference. 

At the conclusion of these two projects in the fall, we will work with and recruit SMEs to conduct another Form Review. New this year, NBCSN has contracted with independent experts to conduct a review of exam items for cultural and language bias which will happen in conjunction with the Form Review. This is an important step in NBCSN’s commitment to fairness, equity, and inclusion.  It is an exciting time to be a part of the NBCSN as we work towards an improved exam that reflects the diversity, knowledge, and expertise of the school nursing profession. 

So, you can see that we have already done a lot this year but there is still more fun to be had! Be sure to thank a SME or if you don’t know a SME, consider becoming one! Our SMEs get to meet nurses from all over the country and work as a team to create a quality exam. We are ever grateful for our many SMEs who volunteer for this very interesting and important work. If you haven’t already joined in on the fun – please consider becoming a valued SME and apply by visiting the NBCSN committee website. You will be and we will be glad you did! 

Eden Donahue and Robin Shannon, 

NBCSN Examination Committee Co-chairs