Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is ATI Pulse?

ATI Pulse was created to detect early indicators that a student’s NCLEX success might be at risk and provide ample opportunity for intervention before they sit for the NCLEX. There are two predictions within the ATI Pulse Report:

  • The Probability of Passing (PoP) – This is predicting the student’s likelihood of passing the ATI Comprehensive Predictor (CP). The CP is the ultimate prediction of NCLEX success.
  • Likelihood of Achieving Level 2 – This predicts whether the student is likely to achieve a Level 2+ proficiency on a CMS proctored assessment before they take it.

2. Why Pulse? Why not just use the Comprehensive Predictor score?

ATI Pulse was created in response to feedback that the Comprehensive Predictor (CP) is a great predictor of NCLEX success, but when students take the CP at the end of their nursing program, it’s too late to intervene if the student is at risk. Pulse allows educators and students to be ahead of the curve when preparing for the NCLEX.

3. Why should I discuss Pulse with students early in their program? They’re obviously not likely to pass the NCLEX yet.

The Probability of Passing (PoP) score is not meant to say, “if you take the NCLEX today, you will pass/fail” – especially for students early in their nursing program. It is meant to indicate whether the student is on track for that specific content area, and eventual NCLEX success based on the available data. As a student takes more CMS assessments they contribute to the PoP score, which is cumulative, making the score more reliable over time.

In the absence of key data points, we use imputation techniques to increase the reliability of our predictions. The central idea behind our imputation method is that a student who scores higher than average (on their available CMS assessments) would have likely scored higher than average on their missing CMS assessments. We also use historical data from the program to understand how students typically perform on a certain assessment.

4. My students took a mid-term Comprehensive Predictor, why isn’t it included in my Pulse results?

The Comprehensive Predictor (CP) is the ultimate predictor of success on NCLEX. Pulse is not predicting NCLEX success directly. Rather, it is predicting the likelihood of success on the CP. Because of this relationship, the CP is not an input to the Pulse model. Once a student takes the CP, that score replaces the Pulse PoP score as the final predictor of NCLEX success.

Comprehensive Predictor scores will show “N/A” if a Content Mastery Series proctored assessment is taken after the CP. However, CP results will still show within assessment reporting, or on the student transcript.

5. Why do my students have predictions for assessments they haven’t taken yet?

There are two levels of prediction within the Pulse model. After each proctored assessment, we are predicting the student’s probability of passing the ATI Comprehensive Predictor. We recognize that remediation is valuable early and often, so even before a student takes a proctored assessment, the Pulse model predicts the likelihood that the student will achieve a Level 2 proficiency on the proctored assessment.

6. What data is used to trigger a Pulse prediction?

The two Pulse predictions use similar, but not identical, inputs.

Probability of Passing prediction inputs:

  • A student’s CMS proctored assessment scores (first 3 attempts per content area)
  • Historic CMS proctored assessment scores from past cohorts in the program

Likelihood of achieving Level 2 prediction inputs:

  • CMS proctored assessments
  • CMS practice assessments
  • Learning System activity
  • TEAS
  • Historic CMS proctored and practice assessments from past cohorts in the program

Historical assessment scores are used as a contextual comparison to inform the model because CMS content areas do not all have the same level of difficulty. For example, if students from past cohorts have struggled with the Adult Medical-Surgical (AMS) CMS assessment, we would factor that into the prediction for current students. In this scenario, a student may have performed lower on the AMS assessment than their other assessments, but that score may be above average compared to previous cohorts.

7. How often does the Pulse score calculate?

The Pulse algorithm updates predictions in near-real time after a new assessment has been completed.

8. My student took an assessment, why didn’t their Probability of Passing score update?

The algorithm will not trigger a prediction if the student scores below 30% on the assessment, or they did not answer at least 80% of the available questions. This is to ensure that we are using reliable data to trigger a trustworthy prediction. Additionally, we only include the first 3 proctored attempts for each CMS content area in the PoP score (see FAQ #9 for more details).

9. Are retakes of proctored CMS assessments included in the Probability of Passing?

Yes, the first 3 attempts for a CMS proctored assessment will trigger an update to the Probability of Passing. Our data indicates that most students take each assessment 3 or less times, so we do not continue to update the Pulse prediction after a student’s third attempt. Analysis supports that the first 3 attempts are a fair and accurate representation of the student’s performance.

10. Are there different ATI Pulse models for students enrolled in a BSN vs. in an ADN or PN program?

Although the same methodology and analytical processes were used to create the BSN, ADN and PN versions of the ATI Pulse model, separate predictive algorithms exist for students enrolled in each of these programs. The different predictive algorithms emphasize or deemphasize certain predictors of later NCLEX success as a function of how they perform analytically within these different student populations. Despite ATI Pulse’s program-specific weighting of predictors, comparable predictive accuracy is achieved for BSN, ADN and PN program types.

11. Can Diploma programs take advantage of Pulse?

Yes, however, there is not a separate Pulse model for Diploma programs due to insufficient data to create a reliable model. Data analysis shows that the assessment performance patterns of Diploma students are similar to ADN students. The ADN Pulse model is used for students in Diploma programs.

12. Does Pulse support a change in program type?

When a student switches to a new program, from PN to RN for example, their score will not follow them to their new program. The PN score will be deleted from the student profile and new PoP scores will be generated once the student takes proctored CMS assessments in their RN Program.

13. Does the ATI Pulse model include students’ GPA or course grades?

Although frequently found to be a predictor of later NCLEX performance, GPA and/or course grades are not part of ATI’s Pulse predictive model. The reason for not including these grade-based metrics is two-fold. First, distribution of course grades (and therefore GPA) are likely to vary as a function of faculty grading difficulty. As a result, course grades highly predictive of NCLEX success at one institution may only be marginally predictive at another institution. The second reason for not including GPA or course grades is that ATI does not have broad access to students’ grades or overall GPA data. Combined, these analytical hurdles prevent GPA or course grades from being included into the Pulse product.

14. What if my program does not use one or more of the assessments that are part of the ATI Pulse model?

The ATI Pulse model’s accuracy is negatively impacted by greater amounts of missing data; however, values for missing assessments can be estimated (i.e., imputed) and students are still provided with predicted probabilities of passing NCLEX. It is strongly recommended that ATI Pulse users strive to use all ATI products included within the predictive algorithm. Increased use of the designated ATI products will improve the predictive outcomes of ATI Pulse.

15. Does the ATI Pulse model require that proctored assessments be administered in a certain order?

Content Mastery Series (CMS) proctored assessments may be administered in any order. Ideally, all CMS assessments should be administered prior to the Comprehensive Predictor (CP) proctored assessment. Administration of the CP replaces the Pulse Probability of Passing score as the final predictor of NCLEX success. However, Pulse will continue to generate predictions if a CMS assessment is taken after the CP.

16. How can students go about increasing the ATI Pulse computed predicted probability of passing the NCLEX?

ATI encourages programs to build student remediation plans that include retesting on Content Mastery Series assessments when lower-than-desired performance was achieved during the first proctored attempt. In addition to using Focused Review and allowing students to retake proctored assessments, students and faculty can use the ATI Pulse dashboard to understand which recommended resources are available.

ATI Pulse will provide an updated PoP prediction for the first 3 proctored attempts per assessment (see FAQ #9 for more details). Although assessment scores do not have a 1-to-1 relationship with the PoP percentage, generally a higher test score should translate to a higher PoP.

17. How is the cohort-level Probability of Passing (PoP) calculated?

The cohort PoP is calculated by taking the average of the student PoP scores.

18. May I get a copy of the ATI Pulse methodologies and formulae?

Thank you for your interest in our model and the exciting promise it offers! Unfortunately, the ATI Pulse model, its methodology and its underlying analytical techniques are proprietary and may not be distributed.

19. I am a faculty member. How do I view ATI Pulse for my classes?

In the Faculty Portal, you may access ATI Pulse data for your cohort by choosing “Explore” from the Pulse tile on your Customizable Home Page or from within Product Highlights. You may also access ATI Pulse by choosing Analytics -> Reports from the left navigation menu and clicking the ATI Pulse tile.

20. Can my students see their ATI Pulse predictions?

Yes, your students can see their ATI Pulse predictions by inputting their cohort CDN Product ID code, which will trigger ATI Pulse to become active. Please note that a CDN code must be used for ATI Pulse to function properly. The utilization of individual Product ID codes that are not associated with the cohort CDN Product ID code could cause data gaps and errors in Pulse.

On the student portal, students can see a Pulse button on their home screen, or on their My Results page once they have taken their first eligible assessment. Their view is identical to the individual student Pulse report that faculty have access to.

21. My Pulse data looks incorrect, who can I contact?

Please contact ATI Client Care at 1-800-667-7531 or use the Live Chat option, found in the Support menu of the ATI portal. Explain your problem in as much detail as possible, and our team will research the issue. Pro tip: screenshots are always helpful.