Let’s Take It up a Notch: Writing Alternate Items and Next Generation NCLEX Type Items for Use in Your Classroom

Let’s Take It up a Notch: Writing Alternate Items and Next Generation NCLEX Type Items for Use in Your Classroom

In this interactive workshop presenters will orient participants on how to reflect on complex item types, break down the different elements and characteristics of complex item types and build workable items for use in instruction and classroom tests. It is helpful if participants have completed an item writing workshop and has an understanding of the basic principles of item writing for single select items.

Learning Objectives:

  • Deconstruct complex item types into discrete parts and understand how the different parts work together to assess what students know and are able to do.
  • Use our understanding of the parts to build items that can be used in instruction and classroom or clinical environments to assess students’ knowledge.
  • Learn how to make the questions manageably scorable by faculty.


Christine M. Mills, Ph.D

Dr. Christine Mills has worked in the field of psychometrics for 16 years. Currently, she is the Director of Research and Applied Psychometrics for Ascend Learning. She is passionate about working with clients to help them understand the processes for building products and assessments so clients have the information they need to make valid inferences based upon the scores they receive.

Pamela Roland, MSN, MBA, RN

Pamela Roland MSN, MBA, RN Pamela started her nursing career as a staff nurse on an inpatient pediatric floor caring for children from all around the world who had a wide range of diseases. Continuing her career at a well-known Midwest hospital, Pamela started working outpatient in a specialized pediatric clinic where she could focus more on her favorite part of nursing, teaching. While working in the clinic setting, Pamela also worked for a pediatric home health agency caring for children and families in their home for varies medical needs. Pamela advanced her career by accepting a position at a private college to teach in the ASN and BSN nursing programs. Pamela obtained her MSN in 2007 and has over five years of experience teaching nursing students didactically and clinically. While managing the nursing lab, Pamela received a postgraduate certification in simulation education. She developed many simulations and educational sessions for the students across the curriculum. Pamela joined the ATI content team in 2011 as a Nursing Education Specialist. In 2014, Pamela was promoted to Manager, Nurse Educator and currently manages a team of five content experts while continuing to develop content for ATI assessments and products. In 2017, Pamela graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a MBA.

Carrie B. Elkins, DHSc, MSN

Carrie B. Elkins, MSN, DHSc is a Lead Nurse Educator with ATI Nursing. Dr. Elkins has been a nurse educator for more than 10 years in traditional BSN and Web-based RN to BSN and MSN programs. In her current role with ATI Nursing, Dr. Elkins leads a team of Nursing Education Specialists who focus on content development, item writing, and alignment of content with NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN test plans. Dr. Elkins has been an invited presenter on nursing education-related concepts locally, nationally, and internationally. Additionally, Dr. Elkins has been an invited presenter on nursing education-related concepts locally, nationally, and internationally including topics such as writing NCLEX© style multiple choice items, writing alternate item formats, Next Generation NCLEX©: clinical judgment and item types, integration of public health content in nursing curricula, enhancing cultural awareness in nursing, creating public health nurses of tomorrow, improving rural health preparedness, disaster preparedness and response as part of public health nursing courses, hands-on disaster experiences for public health nursing students, how to create tabletop disaster exercises for public health nursing students, and environmental and health implications of the methamphetamine crisis in rural areas.