NCSBN approves passing standard for Pearson Test of English Academic

NCSBN conducts internal study to determine minimal passing standard on PTE Academic for licensure candidates

London (PRWEB) August 4, 2010 — The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has announced that it approves Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as a measure of English language ability for determining if nurses are eligible to take U.S. nursing licensure exams.

Anticipating high levels of use for PTE Academic, NCSBN conducted a standard-setting study in 2009 to determine a PTE Academic minimal passing standard for internationally educated nurses applying to take its licensure exams. To demonstrate the English proficiency skills necessary to perform entry-level nursing duties safely and effectively, NCSBN recommends that test takers achieve an overall score of 55 on PTE Academic and a minimum score of 50 on each skill measured on the test (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing). This recommendation is consistent with the NCSBN policy on international nurse immigration.

"With the number of internationally educated nurses seeking licensure in the United States, it is critical that NCSBN take the lead in establishing a standard for English language ability for candidates and work with our members to implement it," said Casey Marks, Chief Operating Officer, NCSBN.

"PTE Academic provides our members with another powerful tool for ensuring that the nurses seeking licensure have the English language abilities necessary to practice their profession safely in this country," added Marks.

PTE Academic delivers real-life measures of test takers' language proficiency to universities, higher education institutions, government departments and other organizations requiring academic English. The test is designed to accurately assess the ability of test takers to function in an English-speaking academic environment.

"Nursing is among numerous professions where it is critical that professionals have the written and spoken language skills necessary to provide safe and effective care," commented Mark Anderson, President, Global Strategy and Business Development, Pearson Education International. "Acceptance by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing is yet another demonstration of the rapidly growing recognition of PTE Academic and the critical need it is filling for organizations around the world that need an accurate measure of English language ability."

For more information, contact or visit

"Setting an English Language Proficiency Passing Standard for Entry-Level Nursing Practice Using the Pearson Test of English Academic," a NCSBN NCLEX Technical Brief, can be found on the NCSBN website at

About the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide a structure through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting public health, safety and welfare, including the development of licensing examinations in nursing. Its members include the boards of nursing in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories -- American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.

About PTE Academic

PTE Academic is a computer-based test for non-native speakers of English who need to demonstrate their academic English capability - often so as to obtain places at English-speaking universities and business schools or as proof of their language ability for a visa application to the UK Border Agency.

Endorsed by the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®), test takers can schedule their appointment just 24 hours before their test and results are delivered within 5 business days.

About Pearson International

Pearson consists of three major worldwide businesses; Pearson Education, FT Group and Penguin. We operate in more than 60 countries with over 36,000 employees and our businesses respond to these growing demands. Pearson Education is the world's leading education company, providing educational materials, technologies, assessments and related services to students of all ages and teachers. We provide test development, processing and scoring services to educational institutions, corporations and professional bodies from around the world.

By combining content, assessment and technology we want to help more people make progress in their lives through education.

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