Key principles in assessing students’ practice-based learning
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Key principles in assessing students’ practice-based learning

Bob Price Director, Postgraduate qualifications in advancing healthcare practice, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University, Milton Keynes

Assessing student learning in the practice setting is one of the most sophisticated and complex forms of evaluation undertaken by registered nurses. The Nursing and Midwifery Council sets standards relating to learning and assessment in practice, focusing on professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, nursing practice, decision making, leadership, management and teamworking. Assessment needs to include evaluation of skill (technical, psychomotor and interpersonal), attitudes and insights, and reasoning. As assessment of student learning is conducted in the practice setting, risks have to be managed, and targets and service standards met. Therefore, it is understandable that mentors may express doubts about their ability to assess student learning rigorously and fairly. It is particularly challenging for mentors to state confidently what represents a demonstration of learning and competence when asked to decide whether a student is fit to practise.

Nursing Standard. 26, 49, 49-55. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.


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