An evaluation of a collaborative approach to the assessment of competence among nursing students of three universities in Ireland

O'Connor, T. and Fealy, G.M. and Kelly, M. and Guinness, A.M.M. and Timmins, F. (2009) An evaluation of a collaborative approach to the assessment of competence among nursing students of three universities in Ireland. Nurse Education Today, 29 (5). pp. 493-499. ISSN 02606917 (ISSN)

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This paper describes a collaborative project conducted by the three principal universities in Dublin to implement and evaluate a competence assessment tool for use by nursing students and their assessors while on clinical placements. In the greater Dublin area, students from three universities are required to share clinical placement sites in specialist practice areas. Accordingly, a liaison group was established among the three universities, in order to develop a common competence-based assessment tool and related protocols for its use. The newly developed competence assessment tool was implemented in 2004, and in 2006, an evaluation of its use was conducted by means of a survey among a non-probability sample of students and their preceptors. Results from the survey data indicate generally positive attitudes to the structure of the tool and positive experiences of its operation in practice. However, respondents indicated dissatisfaction with the amount of time spent completing the assessment tool and the amount of preparation needed to carry out the assessment process. Recommendations for practice include the need to consider placement length in the design process and the need to focus on user preparation. This study also points to the benefits of inter-institutional collaboration in competence assessment and the possible implications for future work in this area. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :14; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: O'Connor, T.; UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Health Sciences Building, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland; email:; References: Bord Altranais, A., (2000) Requirements and Standards for Nurse Registration Education Programmes, , An Bord Altranais, Dublin; Bord Altranais, A., (2005) Requirements and Standards for Nurse Registration Education Programmes, , third ed. An Bord Altranais, Dublin; Calman, L., Watson, R., Norman, I., Redfern, S., Murrells, T., Assessing practice of student nurses: methods, preparation of assessors and student views (2002) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 38 (5), pp. 516-523; Cowan, T., Norman, I., Coopamah, V.P., Competence in nursing practice: a controversial concept- a focused review of literature (2005) Nurse Education Today, 25, pp. 355-362; DiCenso, A., D'Amour, D., Kearney, A., Sheps, S., 2008. University Collaboration in Delivering Applied Health and Nursing Services Research Training Healthcare Policy/Politiques de Santé 3(Sp), 80-95Defloor, T., Van Hecke, A., Verhaeghe, S., Gobert, M., Darras, E., Grypdonck, M., The clinical nursing competences and their complexity in Belgian general hospitals (2006) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 56 (6), pp. 669-678; Dolan, G., Assessing student nurse clinical competency: will we ever get it right? (2003) Journal of Clinical Nursing, 12 (1), pp. 132-141; Eraut, M., (1994) Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence, , The Falmer Press, London; Flanagan, J., Baldwin, S., Clarke, D., Work-based learning as a means of developing and assessing nursing competence (2000) Journal of Clinical Nursing, 9 (3), pp. 360-368; Girot, E., Assessment of competence in clinical practice-a review of the literature (1993) Nurse Education Today, 13 (2), pp. 83-90; Gonczi, A., Competency-based assessment in the professions in Australia (1994) Assessment in Education, 1, pp. 27-44; Khomeiran, R.T., Yekta, Z.P., Kiger, A.M., Ahmadi, F., Professional competence: factors described by nurses as influencing their development (2006) International Nursing Review, 53 (1), pp. 66-72; McGaughey, J., Standardizing the assessment of clinical competence: an overview of intensive care course design (2004) Nursing in Critical Care, 9 (5), pp. 238-246; Meretoja, R., Isoaho, H., Leino-Kilpi, H., Nurse competence scale: development and psychometric testing (2004) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47 (2), pp. 124-133; McMullen, M., Endacott, R., Gray, M., Jasper, M., Miller, C., Scholes, J., Webb, C., Portfolios and assessment of competence: a review of the literature (2003) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 41 (3), pp. 283-294; Norman, I., Watson, R., Calman, L., Redfern, S., Murrels, T., Evaluation of the Validity and Reliability of Methods to Assess the Competence to Practice of Pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery Students in Scotland (2000) National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, ,, Edinburgh. Available from; Norman, I.J., Watson, R., Murrells, T., Calman, S., Redfern, S., The validity and reliability of methods to assess the competence to practise of pre-registration nursing and midwifery students (2002) International Journal of Nursing Studies, 39 (2), pp. 133-145; Short, E.C., Competence re-examined (1984) Educational Theory, 34, pp. 201-207; Scholes, J., Endacott, R., The practice competency gap: challenges that impede the introduction of national competencies (2003) Nursing in Critical Care, 8 (2), pp. 68-77; Scholes, J., Webb, C., Morag, G., Endacott, R., Miller, C., Jasper, M., McMullan, M., Making portfolios work in practice (2004) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46 (6), pp. 595-603; Watson, R., Clinical competence: starship enterprise or straitjacket? (2002) Nurse Education Today, 22 (6), pp. 476-480; Watson, R., Stimpson, A., Topping, A., Porock, D., Clinical competence assessment in nursing: a systematic review of the literature (2002) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 39 (5), pp. 421-431; Woodruffe, C., What is meant by competency? (1993) Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 14, pp. 29-36
Uncontrolled Keywords: Clinical assessment; Collaboration; Competence; Ireland; article; clinical competence; cooperation; cross-sectional study; education; evaluation; health care quality; health personnel attitude; human; methodology; nursing education; nursing methodology research; nursing student; organization and management; psychological aspect; public relations; qualitative research; questionnaire; social support; standard; time; university; Attitude of Health Personnel; Cooperative Behavior; Cross-Sectional Studies; Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate; Educational Measurement; Faculty, Nursing; Humans; Interinstitutional Relations; Nursing Education Research; Preceptorship; Program Evaluation; Questionnaires; Students, Nursing; Time Factors; Universities
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2015 15:54
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 08:35

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