National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is an examination administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to graduate nurses in the United States before they can obtain a practicing license.
An NCLEX test blueprint is a document produced by NCSBN, which contains a summation of what is assessed in the NCLEX examination as well as the core values of nursing practice. The blueprint serves as a guide for aspiring nurses and student nurses who need to learn the basic requirements of nursing and nursing examination. The blueprint is valuable in exam preparation and as a study guide.
Client Needs in the NCLEX Test Blueprint
In an NCLEX blueprint, client needs are the actions and expectations of the nursing practice in a patient-centered approach (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 2013). The core of nursing revolves around a scientific nursing approach backed by clinical reasoning, respect and care for clients and persistent quest for knowledge. Client needs categories in an NCLEX test blueprint refer to the four main groups in which the blueprint is organized. Two of the four categories are further divided into smaller sub-categories.
Safe and Effective Care Environment
This category is concerned with matters of safety when caring for patients whether in the hospital or in the home environment. In nursing, emphasis is placed on the maintenance of an environment in which compassion and care for patient wellbeing is maintained (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 2013).
This category talks about protecting patients and healthcare providers from injuries, and advocating for the rights of patients and other nurses. It includes the giving out of medicine to clients, safe usage of medical apparatus, safety precautions to avert harm and infection, isolation measures, and ethical considerations. There are two sub-categories under safety and effective care management, which include administration of care and safety and infection management.
Health Promotion and Maintenance
This category includes measures for birth control, communicable diseases, pregnancy and childbirth, and general growth and development. It is vital for the nurse to understand all aspects of human growth and development such as nutrition and pregnancy complications in order to be prepared for any situation.
This category deals with caring for the psychological, social and emotional health of the client. Examples of areas under this category that nurses ought to pay attention to include stress management, support systems and therapeutic communication.
This category deals with the physical wellbeing of the client through care and is made up of four subcategories. Examples under this category include non-pharmacological comfort interventions, pharmacological pain management and therapeutic procedures.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2013). 2013 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan: Candidate Version. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm