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How to Proctor Real-World Nursing Exams

Examples show how to proctor nursing entrance exams in-person or in an online format. Assumes the exams use traditional question formats, like multiple choice & true-or-false.

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Using pen & paper to complete any math problems, like dosage calculations, & essays in long-form or short-form.

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Example of how to proctor students verbally identifying the parts of a Sphygmomanometer & showing how it works.

Also covers virtual group presentations.

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Students add mock patient information into a real charting system used by hospitals.

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Assumes students are permitted to use their book & class notes during the exam.

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Online proctoring features to remember

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AI + Human proctors: AI software monitors behavior during the exam & alerts a live proctor if it detects potential issues.

Test content protection: automatically searches the internet for leaked test questions & gives the ability to send takedown requests with one click.

Cell phone detection: AI detects when students attempt to use their cell phones to access test bank content during the exam.

Video monitoring: uses the students’ webcam to monitor student behavior during the exam, scan the room, and verify ID.

  • ID verification: the webcam captures a picture of the student along with their photo ID.

Voice detection: listens for specific keywords & phrases such as, “OK Google” or “Hey Siri” & provides a transcript of what a student says. Much more effective than sound detection, which can trigger because of a sneeze or a dog barking.

Browser lockdown: primarily prevents students from accessing other browsers & applications. Some allow instructors to give students access to specific sites & applications while still restricting others.

Test rules & proctor instructions: the use of test rules and proctor instructors to help customize exams and provide accommodations for specific students or for all students.

  • Example test rules: No talking during any exams; use a black pen for handwritten responses.
  • Example proctor instructions:
  • Students may speak during the virtual presentation and demo of a Sphygmomanometer.
  • John Doe can use talk-to-text assistive technology to complete the essay component.

How to use online proctoring software for hands-on nursing exam activities

Entrance exams for nursing schools taken at a testing center or online

Assumes the exams use traditional question formats, like multiple choice and true-or-false, for math, science, reading, & vocabulary.

Proctoring in-person nursing entrance exams:
For nursing entrance exams taken in-person at a testing center, for example, you can use a mix of proctoring software and human review to protect the exams.

Video monitoring
Use the webcam to require ID verification for each student and monitor behavior during the exam.

Detect attempted cell phone use
If you’re concerned about students using their cell phones during the exam, especially in a large testing center, enable cell phone detection feature that can alert a proctor if students attempt to access test bank content on their phones or other devices. 

Prevent access to internet browsers and applications
Use browser lockdown software to prevent students from opening other tabs, browsers, and applications during exams. This feature can also prevent some keyboard shortcuts like copy and paste.

Protect typed and handwritten essays
If the nursing entrance exam has a written component, either by hand or typed in a word processor, you have options to protect both. 

Proctoring handwritten essays
The next section about handwritten math problems and essays (immediately after this section) provides in-depth steps to proctor handwritten activities, but here’s how it works at a high level:

Proctoring typed essays
If you want students to complete the essay within a word processor, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you’ll use a browser lock to prevent access to other browsers and applications except for the word processor and record students’ desktop.

If students have a physical condition that prevents them from completing the handwritten or typed responses, you can provide specific accommodations, such as allowing assistive technology and alternative ways to complete the response.

Proctoring online nursing school entrance exams:
We won’t dive into proctoring traditional online exam question formats because it’s pretty straightforward: you can use a variety of online proctoring tools during the exams, such as AI+human monitoring, voice detection, and cell phone detection, or you can disable specific features to customize the exam and provide accommodations. 

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Handwritten math problems & essays

Example: nursing students use pen and paper to complete:

How to proctor nursing exams with handwritten components:

Turn on “Scratch Paper Allowed”
The nursing instructor simply enables a setting called “Scratch Paper Allowed” which allows students to look down at their paper without the AI flagging them.

Provide students with specific test rules and instructions
Give students specific instructions, such as:

Use video to scan the room for unauthorized resources
The webcam is used to scan the room for resources like calculators, notes with math formulas, other people, and cell phones.

What if you want to allow some resources but block others?
Simply give instructions to the proctor to allow resources such as specific books, class notes, or access to certain websites and applications.

Detect cell phone use and voices
Use the proctoring software to detect when students attempt to use their cell phones to access test bank content during the exam. 

You can also rely on Voice Detection technology, which listens for specific keywords, such as a student attempting to ask Siri or Alexa for help.

What if students have a physical condition that impacts their ability to write?
Give the proctor instructions that provide accommodations for specific students that allow alternative response options, such as allowing them to use assistive technology to answer questions.

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Virtual demonstrations & presentations

Example: nursing students identify the parts of a Sphygmomanometer and show how it works.

How to use proctoring software for nursing exam virtual demonstrations & presentations:

Detect voices and get a complete transcript of what the student said
The proctoring software can detect voices and provide the instructor with a full transcript of what’s said during the exam activity. It listens for things like, “Hey Siri” and “OK Google” as well as custom lists from the instructor that include phrases like, “help me,” or “what’s the answer?”

If the AI detects any potential issues, it alerts a live proctor who can review the situation and decide to enter the session to intervene and redirect the student. A transcript allows instructors to key in on specific subjects, like the student naming the parts of a Sphygmomanometer, which can speed up the review process.

The transcript is also particularly helpful for instructors who may be deaf or hard of hearing, but still want to provide students with the ability to virtually present.

Record the virtual presentation and demonstration
The proctoring platform records the entire virtual presentation and demo for the instructor to watch. Instructors will also have reports and recordings with timestamps of potentially suspicious behavior to review.

Scan the room and monitor student behavior
The webcam can be used to complete a room scan to make sure the student doesn’t have any notes taped on the wall in front of them or resources on their desk.

What if a student has a speech disorder?
If a student has a speech disorder, you can provide proctor instructions that provide the student with other ways to complete the virtual presentation, such as allowing text-to-speech assistive technology.  

What about proctoring virtual group presentations?
Example: two students in separate locations record a presentation using a common video conferencing tool, such as Zoom.

It’s basically the same process as proctoring an individual presentation, except the instructor only reviews the audio and video from one student instead of both.

The proctoring platform verifies the identity of both students, scans the room, records the presentation, and provides a transcript.

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Using real industry software to complete a task

Example: nursing students add mock patient information to an EMR/EHR charting system commonly used by hospitals

How to remote proctor nursing exams that require the use of real software:

Allow the use of a specific charting system and prevent access to other software and sites

A browser lock can be used to only allow nursing students to access a specific EMR/EHR charting system during the exam without being flagged. While you can specify which charting system can be used,  you can still prevent students from accessing other systems and browser tabs during the nursing exam.

Record students’ screens during the nursing exam task
The students’ screens can be recorded throughout the nursing exam task. The instructor can watch each exam recording to see how students completed specific portions of the tasks within the software.

Want to make it an explainer video?
In addition to recording nursing students’ screens during the exam charting task, instructors can also record audio. This allows the instructor to watch the student complete the task within the charting system while listening to the student explain what they’re doing during the charting task activity and why. 

Honorlock’s Voice Detection also provides a transcript of what the student says during the recording.

Similar to the authentic assessment activities mentioned earlier in this article, instructors can also verify ID, detect cell phone use, and complete a room scan.

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Open book online nursing exams

Example: nursing students can use specific textbooks or notes during the exam.

How to use online proctoring to allow open book nursing exams:

Provide proctor instructions that permit the use of specific books and/or notes during the exam 

Scan the room to make sure no other books and resources are in the exam room
During the room scan, students can have instructor-permitted books in the testing area that they can use during the proctored authentic assessment. 

Want students to have access to digital notes and resources?
Instructors can allow students to access specific digital resources during the proctored exam. The instructor simply adds the exact URLs of the permitted sites in the exam setup.

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Honorlock online proctoring allows nursing programs to do more with exams

While many other proctoring companies struggle to protect exams that involve more than standard test question formats, Honorlock allows your nursing program to offer test questions and activities that truly test knowledge and application.

Honorlock is the best online proctoring for nursing programs, but don’t just take our word for it.

We encourage you to read verified Honorlock reviews on peer-to-peer software review site, G2, and our customer testimonials.

“Through the use of Honorlock, we have been able to maintain the integrity of our classes, many of which are precursors to entry into our nursing program. It is an easy-to-use, comprehensive system that will not be intrusive to students like live proctoring systems.” – Review by Jill M. on Feb. 22, 2021

“Before Honorlock, our campus relied on in-person proctoring. Honorlock allowed us to move past this archaic practice and permit students to take tests honestly from their homes. Honorlock’s team reviews students’ test-taking environments.” – Review on 8/17/2021 by an Administrator in Higher Education

“Honorlock, because of its ease of use, was widely adopted by our faculty and has been very effective. It is an elegant solution to a complex problem.” – Review on 2/15/2022 by Tom M., Director of Learning Resources

“Honorlock is very easy for students to set up and start using. Setup for instructors is also pretty simple, they can easily pick which settings/features to turn on for their exams.” – Review on 2/17/2022 by an Administrator in Higher Education.

Get in touch with one of our experts to see how Honorlock works and why it’s the best online proctoring solution for nursing program exams.