The Prevalence of Multiple-Choice Testing in Registered Nurse Licensure-Qualifying Nursing Education Programs in New York State

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Abstract

AIM

The aim of this study was to describe nurse educators' use of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in testing in registered nurse licensure-qualifying nursing education programs in New York State.

METHOD

This study was a descriptive correlational analysis of data obtained from surveying 1,559 nurse educators; 297 educators from 61 institutions responded (response rate [RR] = 19 percent), yielding a final cohort of 200.

RESULTS

MCQs were reported to comprise a mean of 81 percent of questions on a typical test. Baccalaureate program respondents were equally likely to use MCQs as associate degree program respondents (p > .05) but were more likely to report using other methods of assessing student achievement to construct course grades (p < .01). Both groups reported little use of alternate format-type questions.

CONCLUSION

Respondent educators reported substantial reliance upon the use of MCQs, corroborating the limited data quantifying the prevalence of use of MCQ tests in licensure-qualifying nursing education programs.

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