Passing the Licensure Boards:Ê What Really Helps Students Succeed?

Purpose: The purpose is to determine what factors most influence initial licensure exam passing rates for Physical Therapist Assistant graduates. ÊRaising the first time passing rate is of great interest to both institutions and students. ÊFailing the licensure exam not only means additional cost of Êtesting for the student, but also a delay of at least three months for the graduate to gain employment as a PTA. ÊIf institutions can identify elements common in successful first time candidates, appropriate adjustments could be made to program curriculum and/or mentoring of students, to the significant benefit of both parties. ÊMethods/Description: Physical Therapist Assistant students from the previous 6 graduating classes were studied at a rural community college. ÊGrade Point Averages (GPA) for all institutional courses as well as GPA for PTA program-specific courses were gathered. Scores from "mock board" exams given just prior to graduation were also collected and analyzed. The same students were surveyed by email to assess their age upon entering the program, whether or not they had earned a previous college degree, preparation time in weeks/months prior to the licensure exam, and study time per week, as well as resources used to prepare for the exam. ÊRespondents were also asked whether or not they had attended a commercial PTA licensure review course, and how much previous work experience they had in the healthcare field, if any. ÊResults/Outcomes: Significant factors identified in initial successful licensure exam attempts were institutional and PTA program-specific GPA, age, previous college degree, and "mock board" results. ÊThe variables of number of weeks/months spent preparing for the licensure exam, the number of hours spent studying, and the types of resources used to study showed no significant influence on initial passing rates. ÊThe variables of attendance at a commercial board review course, and previous work experience in the healthcare field showed a positive influence, but were not statistically significant in influencing initial licensure exam success in this small sample size.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education: Grade Point Average, both institutional and program-specific point to the significance ofÊgoodÊstudy skills, test-taking skills, and efficient use of preparation time in first time success with the PTA licensure exam. ÊPTA program faculty can incorporate these skills into existing curriculum to ensure that students gain more knowledge and skills throughout the course of study. Ê"Mock board" exam scores an be used to assess a student's level of preparation at the point of graduation, and can be analyzed system by system to identify weaker areas to concentrate remaining study time. ÊThe factor of older students and previous college degree holders having greater initial licensure exam success can help guide institutions in their acceptance process. ÊReferences: DeWald, J.P., Gutmann, M.E., Solomon, E.S. (2004) Effect of grade point average and enrollment in a dental hygiene National Board review course on student performance on Ê the National Board Examination. Journal Dental Education, 68(1),77-80. Harrelson, G. L., Callaspy, J. B., Knight, H. V., & Leaver-Dunn, D. (1997).Ê Predictors of success on the NATABOC certification examination. Journal of Athletic Training, 32 (4), 323-27. Hawley, N., Johnson, D., Packer, K., Ditmyer, M., Kingsley, K. (2009).Ê Dental students' preparation and study habits for the National Board Dental Examination Part I. Journal of Dental Education. 73 (11),1274-8. Lavandera, R., Whalen, D. M., Perkel, L. K., Hackett, V., Molnar, D., Steffey, C., & ... Harris, J. ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ (2011). Value-Added of HESI Exam as a Predictor of Timely First-Time RN Licensure. Ê International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 8Ê (1), 1-12. doi:10.2202/1548-Ê 923X.2152 Maring, J., & Costello, E. (2009). Education program and student characteristics associated with pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Examination for physical therapist assistants. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 23 (1), 3-11. Maring, J., Costello, E., Ulfers, M., & Zuber, E. (2013). Curriculum, faculty, and cohort ÊÊ variables predicting physical therapist assistant program graduate success on the National Physical Therapy Examination. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 27 (2), 33-40. Peak, A.S., Sheehan, A.H., Arnett S. (2006). Perceived utility of pharmacy licensure examination ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ preparation tools. American Journal of Pharmacy Education, 70 (2), :25. ÊÊ Ê Riddle, D., Utzman, R., Jewell, D., Pearson, S., & Kong, X. (2009). Academic difficulty and program-level variables predict performance on the National Physical Therapy Examination for licensure: a population-based cohort study. Physical Therapy, 89 (11), Ê 1182-1191. doi:10.2522/ptj.20080400. Stewart, C.M., Bates, R.E. Jr, Smith, G.E. (2004, April). Does performance on school- administered mock boards predict performance on a dental licensure exam?ÊJournal of Dental Education, 68 (4), 426-32. Ukpabi, C. (2008). Predictors of successful nursing education outcomes: A study of the North ÊÊÊ ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Carolina Central UniversityÕs nursing program. Educational Research Quarterly, 32 (2), 30-40. Werner, L.S., & Bull, B. S. (2003).Ê The effect of three commercial coaching courses on step one USMLE performance. Medical Education, 37 (6), 527-31.Ê Ê ÊÊ

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  • Control #: 1996325
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: ELC2014
  • Authors: Lori Kielkopf
  • Keywords:

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