Dr. Beth Hultquist, PhD, RN, CNE, Baylor University School of Nursing FastBacc® Coordinator, never backs down from a challenge. First, it was conquering four years as an active duty U.S. army nurse. Then, it was obtaining her master’s and doctorate degrees. And in 2007, it was pursuing her passion for helping others by transitioning into nursing education and preparing students for the NCLEX® and clinical practice.
“I love teaching students,” Hultquist said. “NCLEX success is especially a huge deal for me. I love being in the classroom and witnessing the entire learning process.”
While preparing nursing students for the NCLEX can be a challenge, Hultquist said Sherpath, EAQ, and HESI have made a positive impact on student success and make her job easier.
Gaining Student Buy-In for Sherpath and EAQ
Hultquist explained that Sherpath has been a valuable tool to her and her faculty because it is easy to integrate into their courses. While she did initially experience some student resistance to using the product, that quickly changed once faculty were able to share testimonials and results from previous students who used Sherpath.
“All it took was one faculty member to tell them that she started using Sherpath and her students’ scores increased by 15 points on HESI,” Hultquist said. “Then they were all on board with using it.”
Additionally, Hultquist said once students begin seeing improvement to their own scores, they typically share their success with other students, which helps with buy-in.
“One student will use EAQ and see an increase in their score and they’re telling other students about it, and next thing you know more students are wanting to use the product,” Hultquist said.
How Sherpath, EAQ, and HESI Work Together to Improve Outcomes
Baylor’s nursing program uses the HESI Admission Assessment Exam, Specialty Exams, and the RN Exit Exam. While not required, faculty consider a score of 900 on HESI exams to be passing, and encourage students to strive for that.
“Because most specialty courses in our program end with a HESI exam, our students feel prepared going into NCLEX,” Hultquist said. “HESI builds this confidence in students because they’re already familiar with a similar testing to NCLEX. They see HESI as being more so a practice exam that prepares them. If they do well on HESI, then they aren’t as anxious going into NCLEX.”
Hultquist explained that by using the HESI exams, it also allows her to identify students’ weak areas and have earlier interventions with students that need remediation.
“We’ve seen the biggest impact in students that score in the 700-800 range,” Hultquist said. “For the students that are a little bit weaker, we’re able to catch those weak areas early and remediate so they’re ready by the time they go to take NCLEX. HESI gives students a great remediation product to work with.”
Faculty assign Sherpath lessons and Elsevier Adaptive Quizzing as remediation for students to focus their studies. Hultquist has found that students like using Sherpath because it better prepares them.
“Baylor students have a tendency to be the type always looking for a leg up in their education, and Sherpath does that for them,” Hultquist said.
Baylor University’s 2018 NCLEX-RN pass rate was 93.8%, according to the Texas Board of Nursing.
Words of Advice
After the success her program has had with implementing Sherpath, EAQ, and HESI, Hultquist shares a final piece of advice to faculty new to using these products.
“Take advantage of the education available for using the product,” Hultquist said. “There is so much available that sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing what you can do with the product.”
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