The Internet has made it easy for students to obtain test questions.
I happened to discover the online site, Topix.com, which has a "Nursing Forum" that is presumably for nursing-related questions and issues. However, there is a section titled "Do You Need a Nursing Test Bank?" that had 378 comments posted at the time this blog was written. Nursing test banks are questions that are created by textbook authors and publishers, and are intended for use by nursing faculty. However, they appear to be widely available via this nursing forum, and likely are available on other online forums as well. There is a mix of people offering or selling nursing test banks for specific texts and those who are seeking specific nursing test banks.
If seeking or selling nursing test banks were isolated occurrences, I wouldn't be too concerned. However, the sheer number of people seeking or selling these test banks makes me wonder what they hope to achieve. Of course, the people selling the test banks hope to earn some money. I am curious how they came to obtain the test banks in the first place--especially those who are offering test banks for dozens of nursing texts. And I have to wonder about the people who are seeking (and purchasing) nursing test banks. I imagine these people are nursing students since I can't imagine that there would be a market for nursing test banks anywhere else (faculty who legitimately wish to purchase a textbook and test bank will buy them from the publisher, not via an Internet nursing forum). I don't know what students hope to gain by acquiring nursing test banks; perhaps they are study aids but more likely they are short cuts to good grades. I've also heard reports of nursing students using the camera on their phones (and other cheating methods) to photograph their tests so that they could be distributed to other students the following semester. Nursing students who obtain information by means other than good old studying make me nervous. Not only will they be my nursing colleagues one day, they also may be your nurse or my nurse one day.