Student evaluation: A performance indicator of quality in nurse education

Cowman, S. (1996) Student evaluation: A performance indicator of quality in nurse education. pp. 625-632. ISSN 03092402 (ISSN)


This study, which forms part of a doctoral thesis, is derived from the increasing demand for economic models of nurse education as a process within a wider economic agenda which converts inputs (e.g. training costs) into outputs (e.g. registered nurses). In such a climate the pursuance and determination of quality in nurse education should be of fundamental concern to the nursing profession. The development of models for evaluation and measurement of quality must take due cognisance of the stakeholders' interests and concerns, and student nurses, as the consumers of nurse education, must be regarded as major stakeholders. This paper describes the use of the course experience questionnaire, an instrument designed to investigate the students' perspective on teaching and learning. The study incorporates a comparative analysis between Project 2000 students in Northern Ireland and students in the apprenticeship programme in the Republic of Ireland, from general, psychiatric, sick children's and mental handicap nursing. This comparative analysis does provide the nursing profession with a level of feedback on which to make decisions in the interest of quality. Nurse teachers should examine potential reasons why their programmes are poorly or highly rated and the actions that may be required to remedy imperfections on the one hand and the actions that may be taken to promote excellence on the other. As nurse education continues to forge links with universities, nurse teachers, by adopting student evaluation as a performance indicator, can maximize an essential element in the web of public accountability.

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