The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

The Effectiveness of Standardized Self-Assessment Examinations and Graduate/Employer Evaluations in Predicting Graduate Pass Rates on NBRC Examinations

Terry S. LeGrand, PhD, RRT and David C. Shelledy, PhD, RRT, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX

Introduction: Pass rates on the NBRC national board examinations comprise an important respiratory care education program outcome that reveals the degree to which schools prepare respiratory therapists to perform competently in the clinical setting. Method: To define program related factors associated with improved graduate outcomes by determining if pass rates for the certification self-assessment examination (CRTT-SAE), the written registry SAE (WRRT-SAE), the clinical simulation SAE (CSE-SAE), and employer/graduate cognitive evaluations correlate with pass rates on the actual NBRC exams, data reported on the 1996 accreditation Report of Current Status for all accredited respiratory therapist programs (n=300) was provided to the researchers in a blinded fashion (specific program names and personnel could not be identified). Correlation coefficients were calculated for predictor variables for CRTT, WRRT, and CSE performance.

Results: The results show that the CRTT-SAE was a moderate predictor of the CRTT % pass rate, accounting for 20.3% of the variance, and a weak predictor of the WRRT and CSE % pass rates, predicting 8.4% and 7.3% of the variance, respectively. The WRRT-SAE was a very weak predictor of the CRTT % pass rate, accounting for only 2.3% of the variance, and did not predict WRRT or CSE performance at all. There was no relationship between CSE-SAE performance and national exam pass rates, nor did employer/graduate cognitive evaluations demonstrate correlations. Conclusion: There were significant correlations between pass rates on all NBRC board exams and performance on the CRTT-SAE, while the WRRT-SAE was positively correlated only with the CRTT % pass rate. This discrepancy may be due to the fact that some programs actively prepare students to take the WRRT-SAE and CSE-SAE, while others use these exams as "wake-up calls" to demonstrate areas of strength and weakness, which negates their value as a predictor of performance on registry level exams.

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