Improving Cultural Performance in Nclex-Rn Reflective Journal

Improving Cultural Performance in Nclex-Rn Reflective Journal




Reflection on Improving Cultural Performance in Nclex-Rn

In my research, I was looking at issues contributing to poor performance in the National Council Licensure Examination, NCLEX-RN. The difference in the ethnic performance was conspicuous where the minority races performed poorly and is one of the reasons contributing to domination of the White/Anglo race in the hospitals. Minority races were at a greater disadvantage than the Anglo races was one inevitable conclusion. Despite many graduates from the schools, many have not passed the examination, while it is culturally imbalanced in terms of performance. Research finding have showed that White/Anglo have 2.9 chances of passing the exam more than at-risk minorities (Sutherland, Hamilton & Goodman, 2007).

A look at the causes of the differences revealed several reasons indicating why the disparity existed. The first reason was minorities had many challenges in finishing and passing the examination. Many of them come from the lower class income earning families. At first, it was hard to believe that ethnicity affects performance in the programs as well as graduating considering that all are treated equally within the learning institutions. However, upon realizing the difficulties, it was clear why the disparities occur.

Within the class, I realized that At-risk minorities had difficulties participating in class due to the high domination of White/Anglo race. It required interaction with other students as well as working together in mentorship programs, advice as well as support in order to encourage them. Additionally, some spoke English as their second language, which made it harder to study within a normal class (Kelly, 2010). Talking to one of the minority groups, I found out that lack of good English command contributed to lack of participation where the students found it hard to raise questions.

After the findings, the need of ensuring to have the minorities participate in nursing was highlighted. The realization was made after visiting hospitals where people found it easier to open up to people who could understand their cultural background, as well as language. Looking at the population of United States it is obvious the population is growing in terms of cultural diversity. However, the representation within employment especially in nursing has not kept up with the cultural diversity growth (Sutherland, Hamilton & Goodman, 2007). It would be important to have all the races represented, which would make nursing delivery to all races better especially for the minorities that might not speak proper English.

Removing this disparity would mean giving the minority races a better opportunity to enter the nursing profession (Kelly, 2010). One method of eliminating the disparity is using the Affirming At-Risk Minorities for Success (ARMS), which researchers have proven works. The ARMS was funded by the government to help the minority races in passing the examinations, retaining them in the programs and ensuring their participation through techniques such as interventions in the programs, educational seminars, mentorship, tutoring and advising (Sutherland, Hamilton & Goodman, 2007).

Before conducting this research, I had no idea that ethnicity affected the performance of NCLEX-RN as well as the retention of students within the nursing programs. Within the class setting, it was easy to realize some of the causes of this disparity. At the hospital setting the need of having a good representation of all ethnic groups in nursing was evident as it helps in enhancing the delivery of nursing (Kelly, 2010). In conducting this research, my ignorance on issues affecting nursing was challenged and enlightened where one of them is the difficulties minority groups face.


Sutherland, J.A., Hamilton, M.J. & Goodman, N. (2007). Affirming At-Risk Minorities for Success (ARMS): Retention, Graduation, and Success on the NCLEX-RN. Journal of Nursing Education, 46(8): 347-353.

Kelly, P. (2010). Essentials of nursing leadership & management. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.