The relationship of critical thinking to performance on the NCLEX-RN

J Nurs Educ. 2005 Feb;44(2):85-9.


This study investigated the relationship of critical thinking to performance on the NCLEX-RN. The sample (N = 218) was composed of baccalaureate nursing students from a university-based nursing program in the southwestern United States, and participants completed two critical thinking instruments: the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI). Results showed that there was a difference between participants who passed and failed the NCLEX-RN on both the entry and exit CCTST. Students in the pass group also had higher scores on the exit CCTDI, but scores for the fail group were comparable with national norms for nursing students. No changes in CCTST or CCTDI total scores occurred between program entry and exit, and neither instrument was useful in the prediction of NCLEX-RN performance. There were no differences in NCLEX-RN performance between the pass and fail groups for age or gender.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Nursing*
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Southwestern United States
  • Thinking*