Ensure a Well-Prepared Workforce
The National Health Science Certificate (NHSC) and the four stackable certificates: Foundation of Healthcare Professions, Essentials of Healthcare Practices, Human Structure, Function and Disease A and Human Structure, Function and Disease B document proficiency on the National Health Science Standards.
The National Consortium for Health Science Education’s (NCHSE) commitment to ensure a well prepared work force as well as meet the needs of all health science education programs led to the development of a four course curriculum example that is aligned to the National Health Science Standards which then resulted to the creation of four stackable end of course certificates and individually address a limited number of health science standards. These stackable certificates align to the curriculum and are aptly named Foundation of Healthcare Professions, Essentials of Healthcare Practices, Human Structure, Function and Disease A and Human Structure, Function and Disease B. These stackable certificates are in addition to the well-known end of program National Health Science Assessment now titled the National Health Science Certificate. Upon successful passing of one of these exams, a student is awarded a certificate of proficiency on the associated National Health Science Standards (NHSS). Completion of proficiency on all four (end of course) stackable certificates culminates in the award of proficiency on the National Health Science Certificate (NHSC). The National Health Science Certificate (NHSC) is a validated, knowledge-based test designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate’s knowledge of all eleven National Health Science Standards.
The National Health Science Standards and the NHSC are supported by the Tri-Council of Nursing (American Association of College of Nursing; American Nurses Association; American Organization of Nurse Executives; National League of Nursing) and endorsed by Health Professions Network (HPN) in successfully preparing health science students for transition into postsecondary health science programs.
In addition to the NHSC and the four stackable certificates, the National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) along with Precision Exams (PE) offers over fifteen content specific health science certificate exams. State education agencies and/or local school districts who are NCHSE members receive certificate discount rates for their schools as well as access to national certificate assessment data. The purpose of the health science certificates is to measure and document student knowledge and to inform classroom instruction. By offering more health science certificate choices, health science programs can choose appropriate certificates that meet the needs and intricacies of their individual programs for more beneficial assessment information and performance.
The National Health Science Certificate and Certificate Exams are administered by Precision Exams (PE) and may not be proctored by a health science teacher/instructor, or any individual that has a directly vested interest in the candidates/students’ score unless authorized by designated state health science educator administrators.
Certificate content identifies the number of items constructed for each standard competency and the cognitive level test items are going to address. Questions require simple recall as well as the integration of information from several sources, interpretation of pictorial material, prioritization of alternatives, and utilization of critical judgment in reaching a correct conclusion. Therefore, in addition to the National Health Science Certificate’s multiple choice questions, students will answer question types that provide more ways to present and process information.
Students should be prepared to answer enhanced questions that might appear in the following formats:
- Multiple Choice
These enhanced questions may involve using the cursor to drag and drop and/or choosing an answer by visual picture depiction, etc. By delivering the test item content in multiple formats, the National Health Science Certificate is remaining current with testing standards that require critical thinking and problem-solving. These differentiated test items may provide partial credit points or are worth more than one point per question.
You’ll Be In Good Company
The National Health Science Standards and Assessment are supported by:
A few years ago, our program only had 5 out of 24 pass the National Health Science Assessment. Using the assessment data provided by Precision Exams, we refined our teaching and curriculum delivery to improve teaching and learning. In 2019, we proudly presented certifications to 23 out of 24 students!
– Katrina Haynes RN BSN, NBCT, White Knoll High School, SC HOSA Chair, National Board Certified