Responsive assessment of clinical competence: part 2
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Responsive assessment of clinical competence: part 2

Mary Neary Professional Tutor, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

Aim To highlight the concerns that students and practitioners might have about the process of assessment of their nursing practice, and to suggest an alternative method.

Method Questionnaires were given to 300 student nurses and 155 nurse practitioners throughout a Common Foundation Programme and interviews were conducted with 70 students and 80 assessors from three colleges of nursing.

Results Although students generally favoured structured assessment of their progress, they would like some flexibility. Students acknowledged stress caused by continuous assessment. Assessment of clinical competence was seen to be as important as academic assessment. It was felt that time should be allowed to discuss progress during and after practical experience. Students appreciated the need for continuous assessment, but favoured a change in the way assessment booklets were used.

Conclusion The author suggests a new concept of continuous assessment of students of nursing clinical competence. This new model is called responsive assessment, in which the assessment process focuses on the worth and merit of the care given by students to clients/patients, as well as set learning objectives.

Nursing Standard. 15, 10, 35-40. doi: 10.7748/ns2000.