New BON and the NLE

Recently, Professional Regulation Commission Board of Nursing (PRC-BON) has added 5 new members, and future Nurse Licensure Examination (NLE) takers are wondering what will be the effect of this on the board exam.prc board of nursing

Dr. Carl Balita, NLE reviewer and nursing educator, shared his thoughts on the matter through his Facebook page and we’re reposting his entry in full below.

November 2014 NLE takers, please read and share.

New BON? Now, what? How will an aspiring RN prepare?
By Dr Carl Balita

The NLE is just one of the many functions and legal mandates of the BON but such function determines the worthiness of an aspiring person for the privilege of professional nursing.

What happens now that 5 new members of BON have taken their oath of office? The NLE testbank will be deleted as each BON inputs new 500 items each as their contributiin to the new testbank. There will be 3500 items in the test bank. (I am not sure if the test bank entry of Dr Abaquin and Dr Po are retained as they were also re-appointed. I was told may be they will have to do the same as the others.)

They will be guided by the NEW test framework (National Nursing Core Competency Standards of 2012) but will certainly be influenced by their clinical/career specializations. As BON Marco Sto Tomas was proponent of IMCI in his presidency of the APSOM (principals of midiwifery), NP2 was heavy on IMCI; while BON Leony Freire was Chief Nurse of OR of PGH, NP3 was heavy on Perioperative Nursing. These are examples of how a BON background could matter. Dr Abaquin was proponent of the Oncological Nurses Association of the Phils, and expect more of her NP4 killer questions. Mam Pearl Po who was identifiable with NP1 is known to be an expert in Psychiatric Nursing and may surprise us with a new NP5 much different from that of Mam Betty Merrit. The BON follows a certain Table of Specification (TOS) in the creation of these test items, they will also be “re-trained” or “oriented” (as many of them are already education experts and are competent on this) on using HOTS questions (higher order thinking) which mostly are situational and application. The BON does not choose particular items as the computerized extraction of 100 questions, from the initial 500 each, removes human intervention in the selection of test items. The BON never gets to see these items before they are administered by the PRC. This is why the BON members are in “quarantine” days prior to the NLE. They get to see the board questions only after it has been administered. Then they make their collegial answers to the questions.

There is a notice-able difficulty in any first board exam given by any new board. This is not because they will make difficult items but because they render examinees “blind” of their individual styles and their collective collaboration. For now, they are the only ones who may know their individual test assignment but there are clues to their specialty and background. There is also an “excited” tendency for anyone to do things in its best level, so the level of the test difficulty is not known, even to themselves as only the real NLE can give them that insight.

Expect therefore a different-looking NLE this November 2014 NLE.

For those who will take the November NLE, The solution is simple: review with a review center who has the grasp of these honorable BON. The review center should be well grounded in the nursing circle so they have resources to have a thorough grasp of these experts. It is also worthwhile to be with a review center with credibility of covering ALL the essentials of ALL the concepts. Those who will not make it in the May NLE, will have to re-set their preparations for the next try. (forgive me for saying this as I am just being realistic).

CBRC has long prepared for this NLE, and has long known these honorable women who shall soon take hold of what could be your privilege as a professional. CBRC is now in 32 branches in the Philippines and in UAE and KSA as well. Please see for more information.

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