Using the CSV Files to Chart Performance

A CSV file, available to programs located in the U.S. and U.S. territories, give you over five years' worth of data at a substantially lower cost than ordering each individual report separately. The files themselves are natively supported by MS-Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, R, SPSS and SAS which makes it easy to analyze and chart your program's performance. Prior to the existence of CSV files subscriptions, the only way to analyze or chart your program's performance was to manually type the values found in the NCLEX® Program Reports into a spreadsheet or database. This time consuming and error prone process is no longer necessary with the purchase of CSV files.

Some subscribers have asked us, what kind of analyses might I do with the NCLEX CSV data? This is an excellent question. The NCLEX® Program Reports CSV files can be used to track your program's performance over time, evaluate your program by comparison group, and/or compare the performance of multiple educational programs within your organization. Below are a few examples of how the information in the CSV files can used. Keep in mind that there are many more ways to use the data then we have outlined below. These charts contain sample data that are similar to the data found in the CSV files and the 2011-2012 Supplemental CSV files.

Getting Started

The CSV files can be opened using many types of software, but the typical user will probably open and view the files using Microsoft Excel. Comparing each file to the corresponding page in the NCLEX® Program Reports may help you get acquainted with the data in the files. From there, you can begin organizing the information in a way that is helpful to you and your program. Creating your own graphs would be the final step in this process. Below is an image of the CSV file that contains the Passing Percentages found on pages 3.3 and 3.4 of the reports.

Percent Passing CSV

Track program growth

The CSV files will tell you how many of your students have taken the NCLEX® Exam over the years. In this example, you can see how the number of students tested has increased over the years and how the size of the Fall cohort compared to the Spring cohort.

Figure 1: Number of Graduates Tested by Reporting Period

Program Growth Chart

From Page 3.3: Percentage of Your Graduates Passing the NCLEX® Examination

Show progress

The CSV files can be used to provide school administrators with visual information on how passing rates have progressed over time. This graph shows a program that has slowly increased its passing rate, improving a little bit each year. It is also useful to identify years in which your program's passing rate was lower than usual so that you can determine the cause and make adjustments.

Figure 2: Passing Rate by Reporting Period

Improvement Over Time Chart

From Page 3.4: Percentage of Your Graduates Passing the NCLEX® Examination

Compare Programs

The CSV files can be used to compare different campuses or programs within your organization. In this example, you can see that the struggling ADN program managed to rapidly improve and exceed the passing rates of the BSN program. What might be the reason for this? Instructors? Class size? Having this information is the first step in understanding your program.

Figure 3: Passing Rate by Educational Program by Reporting Period

Program Comparison Chart

From Page 3.3: Percentage of Your Graduates Passing the NCLEX® Examination

Track graduate performance over time

In our opinion, the most valuable use of the CSV files is to create charts that display the performance of your students over time. By doing so, you can identify the test plan areas or content dimensions in which you have improved or declined. This is a great tool for identifying where to focus your curriculum reform efforts. The following graph shows that the performance of your program's students declined in Psychosocial Integrity, Health Promotion and Maitenance, and Pharmacological Therapies. Based on this information, a program might benefit from modifying its efforts in this areas.

Figure 4: Test Plan Performance by Reporting Period

Performance Over Time Chart

From Page 4.4: Test Plan Performance Report

Evaluate graduate performance by comparison group

Chapters 4 and 5 of the NCLEX® Program Reports provide information about the performance of your graduates as compared to the performance of graduates within your jurisdiction, from similar programs (RN only), and across the nation. By analyzing the data within the CSV files, you can evaluate the performance of your graduates relative to these three comparison groups. In the chart below, you can see that the typical graduate from this program is performing well compared to the national sample of graduates, just a little bit better than graduates from within the jurisdiction, and about the same as graduates from similar programs.

Figure 5: 2010 "Stages of Maturity" Percentile Ranks by Comparison Group

Stages of Maturity Chart

From Pages 5.5.3 and 5.5.4: Content Dimension Report


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