What is it about?

This article is a report of a study about stress associated with taking a high stakes exit exam in a prelicensure bachelor of science nursing program located in the Midwest United States. Stress was measured before and after the exam using self-report instruments and salivary biomarkers of stress (cortisol, alpha amylase). Stress before the exam was not associated with exit exam performance.

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Why is it important?

The findings support the logical assumption that taking a high-stakes exit exam is a stressful experience for prelicensure nursing students. The findings have implications for the management of stress in prelicensure nursing education.


The research contributes to the body of nursing education knowledge about stress and high-stakes exams. It also has implications for research methods used to study exam stress in nursing education.

Lisa Brodersen
Allen College-UnityPoint Health

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perceived stress, physiological stress reactivity, and exit exam performance in a prelicensure Bachelor of Science nursing program, International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, June 2020, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/ijnes-2019-0121.
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