Success Story

HESI Helps Salve Regina University Faculty Teach Students to be Better Critical Thinkers

Students laughing in class

At-A-Glance Facts

Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island offers a baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Students that successfully complete the four-year baccalaureate program are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX). All three programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The university’s faculty have found that HESI helps them teach students to be better critical thinkers through high-quality test questions and pin-pointed remediation. It also allows them to continuously improve their own teaching by reviewing class weaknesses.

Dr. Eileen Gray, former Chair of Nursing at Salve Regina University, discusses how HESI helps her program’s faculty teach students to be better critical thinkers, and explains how she utilizes HESI data for student reviews and improving her own teaching.

Dr. Eileen Gray - HESI

Dr. Gray explains why she began using HESI in the classroom.

When Gray started teaching at the university, the program was employing a different company’s products she was unsatisfied with due to the lack of evidence-based information.

“The students were having a difficult time, as were the professors,” Gray said. “As the pediatric professor, I was not satisfied because I didn’t feel that the information was necessarily evidence based to my satisfaction.”

When she became Chair of Nursing, she investigated HESI and spoke with her colleague, Lynda Sylvestri for her input. She decided to move forward with HESI after speaking with Elsevier representatives.

“We switched to HESI and we have been very satisfied with it because of the evidence base of all of their products,” Gray said.

Gray states that since implementing HESI, Salve Regina’s NCLEX® pass rates have increased.

Dr. Eileen Gray - HESI Review

Dr. Gray explains how HESI reviews help students with concepts they find challenging.

Gray says everyone she’s worked with at Elsevier has been “extremely helpful” to her and her students. Recently, Salve Regina underwent its first three-day HESI Review in which Gray received positive feedback from students on the information they received during that time.

“They [the students] were beyond satisfied with the questions and answers and information that they were getting,” Gray says.

Dr. Eileen Gray - HESI Exam

Dr. Gray shares her successes with HESI products.

Additionally, Gray believes HESI Subject Matter Examinations have helped reinforce her motto: Don’t study what you know, study what you don’t know.

“The students begin to really understand different areas of — say, pediatrics — and they really begin to understand what they don’t know and I think that’s what’s very important for students,” Gray says.

Gray also notes the HESI Exit Testing forces students to review the fundamentals of nursing they often forget to go back to. She uses the students’ individual data printouts from the exit testing to meet with them one-on-one or in small groups to review the material they missed.

“I have done both individual and small group reviews aside from the three-day HESI Review to help students in areas they find challenging,” Gray says.

Gray says the most effective approach she uses is requiring each student to print their HESI results and statistics and self-assess the content areas in need of review. Then, students cross-reference their areas of need with the NCSBN NCLEX detailed Test Plan, specifically the activity lists for each Client Needs area.

“I would then have them remediate on these individual challenging areas,” Gray says. “Each student would highlight the areas in the test plan that they know well and the areas in need of review. Then, each student develops a study plan from their individual data in the test plan and their HESI results. They are required to remediate using the HESI materials and the Silvestri NCLEX resources.”

Dr. Eileen Gray - HESI Data

Dr. Gray explains how she uses HESI data in the classroom.

In addition to utilizing the HESI data to help students, Gray also uses the data to see how she can improve her own teaching.

“I have to step back when I look at not only their HESI testing, but their test bank examinations, and say, ‘wow something was wrong there — more than 50% didn’t understand that’ so I need to adjust the future of my teaching,” Gray says.

Gray explains the other important thing HESI has helped faculty do is teach students to be better critical thinkers.

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