Nursing Student Assessment In Clinical Setting

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Nursing Student Assessment in Clinical Setting

Nursing Student Assessment in Clinical Setting


Practice learning is an important part of the curriculum and accounts for approximately 50% of the pre-qualifying nursing programme. However, the nature of practice learning is very often ill defined, and mentors and nurse teachers apply a range of models when supporting students in practice settings (Humphreys et al. 2000).

1. Formative assessment

Supporting student nurses whilst undertaking clinical experience is an important function for both educators and practitioners, yet there is little consensus in the literature as to what constitutes support. The nature and purpose of mentorship in this context is related to the role of the clinician in providing student support and guidance, and in many cases encompasses the activities associated with learning, teaching and assessment of practice. Although in recent years nurse education has embraced mentorship alongside the development of the lecturer practitioner and more recently practice educator roles, other models may be worth further examination, especially those that more overtly enable students to learn through clinical practice encounters. The Clinical Guide is an experienced first level nurse who is able to support student nurses through the three years of their programme. In practice, nurse teachers adopt a variety of roles ranging from link teacher to lecturer practitioner but generally there remains a lack of understanding and clarity about the purpose of the nurse teacher in the clinical arena (Humphreys et al. 2000). In addition, there is lack of consistency regarding the role of the mentor and little commonality regarding the application of mentorship across the range and variety of clinical settings (Andrews & Chilton 2000). Although there is a growing body of literature concerned with the role of mentors in practice settings, the majority focuses on the nature of the support and supervision that mentors provide and little relates to the impact they have on student learning. mentor is undertaking at any one time. Teaching and assessing students has largely been devolved to staff nurses (Earnshaw 1995; Neary 2000).

2. Demonstration and observation of clinical skills,

Students relate to nurses at this level and are able to maximise the learning opportunities they offer because this is the level they see themselves operating at in the future; this is what they aspire to (Earnshaw 1995; Gray & Smith 2000). Staff nurses often feel ill prepared to undertake the mentor role, especially the learning and teaching related aspects. Some assessors have concerns about the increasing academic emphasis within the curriculum and may employ avoidance tactics when assessing student progress or competence (Neary 2000). Levels of professional practice are increasingly being linked to academic level via the relationship of theory to practice but many practitioners do not feel confident to teach and assess students at a different academic level to themselves.

3. Student-patient interactions in the clinical setting.

Many specialist nurses who have studied to degree level often work in situations where they do not encounter pre-registration students or are the sole nurse at that level so ...
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