The goal of NBEO® testing is to assess the cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and communication skills that are essential for entry-level optometric practice. As the profession of optometry is constantly evolving, the NBEO® has to adapt to these changes to ensure that new optometrists are competent in all areas of practice no matter where they choose to live and work. With that being said, there are several new updates from the NBEO® that will be taking effect this year.
Laser and Surgical Procedures Examination
NBEO® is now offering a new stand-alone test called the LPSE (Laser and Surgical Procedures Examination). As more states are developing legislation to expand the scope of practice of optometry, NBEO® decided that an additional standardized examination to test these skills was necessary. This test is offered to optometric 4th year students, residents and current practitioners. The first tests will be administered in August and will take place at the National Center for Clinical Testing in Optometry in Charlotte, NC.
The exam will consist of both a computer-based testing (CBT) component and a clinical skills portion. It is also comprised of a Laser section and a Surgical section, allowing candidates to register for either one or both sections of the examination. The Laser section of the LPSE will cover selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), YAG capsulotomy, and laser peripheral iridotomy. The surgical portion includes suturing, eyelid surgery (e.g. chalazion removal), injections (intramuscular, subconjunctival, intralesional), and anesthesia (topical and injectable).
A video highlighting a brief overview of the examination is available on the NBEO® website
NBEO® Part III Clinical Skills Examination (CSE) Restructuring
NBEO® continuously reviews the content and clinical skills as a part of its ongoing pledge to public protection and meeting the needs of the optometric profession. As you’ve seen, there have been recent changes to the NBEO® Part I examination, and now, the NBEO® is working to restructure Part III to ensure the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and contemporary optometric exam as possible.
Proposed revisions include knowledge assessments, patient scenarios, and patient record documentation, while still maintaining a performance evaluation of the most critical clinical skills. It has been noted on NBEO‘s website that this will be a multi-year project and updates will be posted on their site. However, beginning August 2019, the NBEO® will be replacing the slit lamps used with the Haag-Streit BI900. Additionally, also beginning August 2019, during the Part III on-site orientation, candidates will be able to view an orientation video or spend time practicing with the equipment.
Six Attempt Limitation Policy
Beginning August 2019, there will be a six-attempt limit for each of the examinations (Part I Applied Basic Science, Part II Patient Assessment and Management, Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease, Part III Clinical Skills Examination, and Injection Skills Examination). Keep in mind that examination attempts both prior to and after August 2019 will count toward this limit. The NBEO® will offer an appeal process for individuals who wish to appeal the six-time limit.
Part I, II, and III Examination Fees Increase
The NBEO®, following an extensive review of the examination fee structure, has determined that exam fees will increase by $125 for each of the 3 parts of NBEO®. This took effect February 2019. Although this is a significant increase in cost, NBEO® states that their fees are still significantly lower than most other medical professional nation licensing examination fees.
The NBEO® does a great job of communication updates on their website, so check in periodically to make sure that you are aware of any upcoming changes!