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UMFK division of nursing to offer critical thinking test-writing workshop

February 22, 2002



Susan Morrison, Ph.D, R.N., owner and president of Health Education Systems, Incorporated of Point Blank, Texas, will present a one-day critical thinking test-writing workshop at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on March 1 in the Nadeau Hall Conference Room 114B.


Health Education Systems, Inc. produces critical thinking computerized exams for nursing students preparing to write the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Morrison, who also serves as an associate clinical professor at Texas Women's University in Houston, Dallas and Denton, presents with extensive experience and scholarship in nursing, business, management, as well as test item writing and item analysis.

Morrison received her Ph.D. in health education/business management from Texas A & M University, a post-masters in theory of nursing from New York University, a Masters in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing and a bachelor of science in nursing from Texas Woman's University.

She is currently an associate clinical professor at Texas Woman's University and president and owner of Health Education Systems, where she has developed, tested and marketed a product used to prepare nursing school graduates for the licensing exam, and develops and markets nursing education materials.

Morrison has served as adjunct faculty at Houston Community College, as clinical instructor of maternity nursing at Memorial City Hospital and Women's Hospital. She also served as lead instructor for pediatric nursing.

As an entrepreneur, she founded and was previous owner and president of CompuRental, Inc., where she maintained responsibility for management of the entire business.

Morrison is the author of three books including Critical Thinking and Test Item Writing, HESI NCLEX-RN Review, and Pharmacology/Assessment. She has also contributed articles to several publications, including the Comprehensive Textbook of Geriatrics, and The Neuman Systems Model: Application to Nursing Education and Practice. Morrison is also the author of numerous articles pertaining to medicine and nursing care.

She was awarded the St. Luke's Hospital-Texas Children's Hospital nursing scholarship, a doctoral fellowship from Bayler College of Medicine, an award for outstanding research from Alpha Delta, Sigma Theta Tau at Galveston, and was the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellowship. She was also voted an Outstanding Young Women of America, and received an appointment to the Houston Area Agency on Aging from the mayor of Houston.

The workshop for UMFK's department of nursing, which was identified as a priority is being be held for several reasons. It will serve as a response to the recommendations from past accreditation reviews. As the department of nursing will be re-accredited in Fall of 2002 by both the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Maine State Board of Nursing (MSBN), the need to demonstrate competence in test-writing is a priority.

Such a workshop has never been held at UMFK, nor have faculty had the opportunity to attend such a workshop elsewhere. Test-writing is key to the didactic role of nursing faculty who teach in core content areas, as it is used across the nursing curriculum.

Upon conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to construct and evaluate critical thinking exams for the content area in which they teach; analyze test validity and reliability; and describe forms used to develop tests, test items, and store information obtained from a test analysis. Workshop participants will also be able to describe guidelines for developing critical thinking test items; discriminate exam items by examining item analysis data, including item difficulty and discrimination data; and upgrade exam items as indicated by the item analysis, as well as through clinical practice, to derive current and relevant test items.

The workshop being offered to the nursing faculty at UMFK is open to other interested faculty from the university. Faculty from the surrounding area are also invited to participate.

For more information on Morrison's visit to UMFK or the workshop she will be offering, contact the division of nursing at 834-7580.