Preparing for the Nursing Leadership and Management Examination

In order to succeed on the NUR-428-TE900 Nursing Leadership and Management Examination, the student needs specific knowledge of the subject matter and test-taking skills. Even with previous background in management, it is unlikely that a student can simply proceed to take and pass the exam. The first step is to review the information contained in the test description to learn what will be required. Succeeding on examinations requires planning and preparation.

Choosing Textbooks

The Nursing Leadership and Management Examination has been developed to reflect the content of the textbook used in the course NUR-428: Leadership and Management in Nursing. The textbook information is noted in the text section of the test description. If you choose to use another text, always compare the table of contents with the Roman numeral outline of topics in the test description. This comparison will identify areas that may not be covered in a particular text.

Unfortunately, texts can go "out-of-print" at any time. Occasionally, when this occurs, it may be necessary to withdraw a scheduled examination. When this happens, there may be instances where a student continues to prepare for an examination that is no longer being offered. If this situation occurs, the College will make every effort to notify the student that a new examination is being developed. Thomas Edison State College reserves the right to cancel or withdraw examinations when necessary.

Obtaining Textbooks

Bookstores: College and online bookstores are a good source of textbooks, and often have new and used texts for sale. In addition, many college bookstores have used book sales on a regular basis. This is an inexpensive way to buy textbooks. Calling a local college bookstore in advance to ask if and when they hold used book sales will save you time and effort. Most commercial bookstores do not stock textbooks; however, many will order texts for you. If you choose this route, be sure to allow enough time to order and receive the texts, as well as time to study from them.

MBS Direct: You can order many textbooks directly from Thomas Edison State College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct. To learn if your texts are available, go to www.studytactics.com. At that site, click on the "COLLEGE" tab and follow the prompts. If MBS Direct has your text, you may order it online.

Libraries: The New Jersey State Library is fully equipped to help Thomas Edison State College students obtain texts as well as with research. In addition, college libraries, of course, are excellent places to find college texts, although to borrow books one generally needs to be an enrolled student or have taken courses at that college. Local public libraries usually are not a good source of college textbooks; however larger county libraries or city libraries often will have a number of texts.

Most libraries have interlibrary loan services, which mean that they will find a library that has the desired books and will borrow them for you. If you decide to borrow your books from a library, make sure you can keep them for as long as you need them. It is very important to have your study materials available until the examination date.

Using Textbooks/Study in General

Reading is such a basic skill that we are tempted to just do it, rather than to think about how we do it. However, when we are reading to learn and to remember, it pays to be thorough. The following set of tips on how to read a textbook should very helpful. The benefits from these tips can help to improve your exam score.

  1. Always read the introductory material at the beginning of each chapter of the book before proceeding. This introductory material usually talks about what is to follow and establishes an idea of what to expect. When you can anticipate what is to come, you will remember it better.
  2. Always read the summary material at the end of each chapter of the book before proceeding. You may not understand all of it since you will not have read the book or chapter, but you will form a clearer idea of how the author has organized and presented the material. This will help you to understand and remember the text itself.
  3. If there are any study questions in the book, take the time to look at them and to see what kinds of things are being asked. Usually, the more important points or concepts are covered in the study questions.
  4. Be an active reader. Take notes, think about what you have read, try to sense what questions the material answers, etc. The more actively you read, the better you will understand and remember the facts and concepts.
  5. Learn how to take notes. You will evolve your own style for this, but some general suggestions may be helpful.
    • Always use your own words when taking notes; by doing this, you can make sure that you understand what the author is saying. If you can write it down in your own words, you know you have grasped the idea.
    • Keep your notes as brief as they can be and still capture the important points and ideas. Your notes have to be reasonably clear and meaningful to you.
    • Read over your notes at a later date and re-do anything that is not clear to you.
    • Be especially careful to write down the meanings of any words or concepts that are new to you. It is very important to learn these key elements so that you can correctly interpret test questions that use them.
    • If you learn best by listening rather than reading, you may find it helpful to read important information from your text into a cassette recorder. You can play the tapes in your car or wherever you have a tape deck and review the information this way.
  6. Test your own memory. Take notes as you study and then try to write out these notes from memory. Review the areas that you do not remember. Do not expect to remember material well after only a single reading. In order to retain learning in memory, most people must go over the text several times. Further, material that has not been read recently is often difficult to remember. Plan your study so that on the day of the examination you will have recently reviewed all of the content that is to be covered on the examination.

Taking Multiple-Choice Tests

The Nursing Leadership and Management Examination is a multiple-choice test. Virtually everyone is familiar with this type of test and understands how to proceed. But some basic points cannot be stressed too often:

Manage your time efficiently. Before the clock starts, calculate how much time you are given to answer each question. For example, if you have two hours to answer 100 questions, that equals 72 seconds per question. The time you need for each individual question, of course, will vary. Try to pace yourself. For example, if you start a 100-question exam at 1:00 p.m. and you have two hours, the following schedule would be helpful:

Amount of test completed Time Questions completed
1/4 1:30 p.m. Questions 1-25
1/2 2:00 p.m. Questions 26-50
3/4 2:30 p.m. Questions 51-75
Test complete 3:00 p.m. Questions 76-100
  1. Postpone answers to the hardest questions. Test questions vary in difficulty and in the time that they take to answer. Do not get stuck on any one question. If it is difficult, leave it and go on to the next question, but mark it so that you can return to it later. It's important to note that you may move forward and backward within each section; however, once you exit a section, you are not allowed to return to it.
  2. Always give an answer to every question. The score for the Nursing Leadership and Management Examination is the number of correct questions. There is no penalty for guessing.
  3. Consider all possibilities. Remember that the multiple-choice question works because at least some of the WRONG answers appear to be correct. Do not base your final answer on a reading of just one alternative. Read the entire set of answer options and form a final judgment after considering all of the possibilities.
  4. Choose the best answer. The test directions tell you to choose the best answer, not the correct answer. If you are not sure that one of the possible answers is completely correct, you should pick the one you think is closest to correct.
  5. Be careful with questions that ask for the identification of error. Some questions ask you to identify the response which is NOT correct or which is the EXCEPTION. You must be certain to see that this is what is required and to make your selection accordingly.