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The Role of the Coach: Benefits of One-on-One Engagement for NCLEX® Prep

Woman studying

The ultimate goal for any nursing faculty is to see their students pass the NCLEX on the first try and start their careers as outstanding health care providers. Because of the gap between graduation and test day, faculty miss the opportunity to give students everything they need leading up to the NCLEX and ensure they retained everything they’ve learned. HESI® Compass™ addresses this gap and provides additional study material and personalized study plans leading up to the NCLEX. Unique to HESI Compass is the guidance from tenured nurse educators as coaches working directly with students.

Coaches help prepare students for NCLEX success by providing an encouraging and supportive online experience as students’ progress through the course. They are responsible for guiding students to identify their personal learning needs, interpreting student self-efficacy data to identify gaps in self-awareness, and monitoring student progress and performance by analyzing data available in the program.

For faculty already spread thin trying to provide the best outcomes for their students, HESI Compass coaches provide the support at-risk students need to exercise critical thinking skills and master essential nursing content. Nursing programs can feel reassured having students assisted by someone who knows what your students need.

To give more detail to the role of our coaches, below are insights from two of our HESI Compass coaches. They share their experience with HESI Compass, their commitment to nursing education, and their passion for helping nursing students.

Annette Wounded Arrow

Annette has worked as a nursing education faculty member for the last 12 years, bringing 30 years of experience as a critical care nurse. As a coach, she looks at test results to identify trends for performance improvement, test-taking strategies, and nursing content review. She enjoys encouraging students to do their best.

What does it mean to you to be on the HESI Compass coach team as a former educator?

It means the world to me because the quality of this program is so good. There are so many different ways we’re bringing education to the students through this program. Through the modules, the HESI exams, the quizzes, and case studies—it’s diverse in in what it’s doing and it’s high level. All of this combined helps students. It also provides the rationale which as a faculty member, I would say that was the big thing for students. Not only are they finding out that you missed the question, but why you miss the question and there’s so much learning value in that. It has all of that information available. Every aspect of this program is designed to provide a different type of learning for the student to really get them to where they need to be prepared for in a way that makes it click.

Out of all of the different ways that you work with students, which aspect are you particularly drawn to?

I am drawn the most to the motivational aspects. When students are in nursing school, they’re getting fed content and I know that the faculty are going through test-taking content with them as well. But I like to really be the motivator, the cheerleader, the positive “you can do this, you you’ve got this” because I think that’s not always what they hear. I think self-doubt gets to students, especially when they don’t score as well as they think they’re going to, and testing is a lot of mental aspect. I really enjoy the cheerleading, the coaching, and bringing positivity to what they’re doing it to achieve their goals.

Is there anything that you want faculty to know when it comes to HESI Compass?

I want faculty to know it’s not designed to take the place of what they’re doing, it really is designed to supplement what they’re doing and reinforce the content. Students take thousands of questions in the course of doing three HESI exams, ten modules, practice quizzes, and case studies. It’s just such a good reinforcement for what they are already doing that it will just build on all of their hard work and I think every faculty member’s goal is that we want to see our students be successful. There is no doubt that educators pour their heart and soul into trying to help students achieve their dream of becoming a nurse and that’s no different for me as a HESI Compass coach. I want to help these students achieve their dream, just like the faculty do. I want faculty to know that I’m excited to partner with them to help them get their students to that goal and that dream.

Kelli Selvage

Kelli has worked in both ADN and BSN programs as a nurse educator, with 14 years’ experience as a nurse working in ICU and LTC. Her goal as a HESI Compass coach is to help students navigate the course, get the most out of the content, and get students to actively engage in the course with an open mind.

Why did you become a HESI Compass coach?

I  believe in the development of a relationship with the student. In a program, we can look at a cohort or a large group of students, and we identify benchmarks considered at risk based on academic performance or admission performance. Still, psychosocial risk factors occur at any point in the program. Students don’t always have people to encourage them or cheer for them. We all need encouragement; we all need that little pat on the back. Some of us are lucky enough to have family or friends who helped us in our nursing education journey, and other students don’t. Having someone cheering you on when you’re successful or to be there as a sounding board when you failed, helping you get past that and move forward to find that self-efficacy is so important, and I wanted to be a part of that.

How was HESI Compass important to developing student learning in your program?

It serves many purposes, and I’ve seen many advantages for the school’s nursing program. It was integrated as remediation for students before their final exam. The remediation was very structured and gave the students the ability to transition into that NCLEX mindset once they finished their didactic work, preparing for their final HESI before graduation. It helps students pull out of studying for cardiac or studying for respiratory and focus on health promotion and maintenance or management of care. It pulls them forward into more of that NCLEX blueprint thinking while still helping them bridge some content knowledge gaps.

Is there any feedback that you can provide as an educator for other educators who are interested in HESI Compass?

One of the advantages from a program standpoint is using the data from students taking multiple exams. The program can see where they have gaps or weaknesses in the program. It’s another tool to utilize for the program’s quality improvement evaluation and deciding changes to make in the program to help support students before getting to the end of the program. I think it’s beneficial for students to help them prepare not only when they’re leaving the program but also afterward. Having that extra resource to keep them going once they’re graduated is beneficial.