Assessment of student nurses in practice: a comparison of theoretical and practical assessment results in England.
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AbstractThis study was undertaken in response to concerns raised by Duffy (2003) that assessors of practice were reluctant to fail student nurses in assessments. This generated doubts about the fitness to practice of some registered nurses. An investigation was undertaken into whether quantitative evidence supported the view that pre-registration nurses rarely failed practical assessments. Comparative failure rates from theoretical and practical assessments were requested from all 52 universities in England that offered pre-registration nursing programmes. Responses were received from 27. Findings indicated that a very small proportion of students failed practical assessments; failure rates for theory outstripped practice by a ratio of 5:1. A quarter of universities failed no students in practice. Students were most likely to fail in year one and least likely in year three. This study supports the belief that assessors of practice are reluctant to fail student nurses. It raises a number of questions about the influence that the systems and practices of professional bodies and universities have on practical assessment. However it also indicates that some student nurses have failed practical assessments and that some universities do have systems in place to address this issue.
CitationAssessment of student nurses in practice: a comparison of theoretical and practical assessment results in England. 2012, 32 (4):351-5 Nurse Educ Today
JournalNurse education today
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