Objective structured clinical exam: a successful approach to pre-registration mental health nurse assessment
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Article publication date: 13 March 2017
Pre-registration mental health nursing courses are a mixture of clinical practice and university-based education completed over three years, culminating in a successful student entering the professional nursing register. During a student’s time at university they will encounter many different types of assessment, whether formative or summative. These are typically academic written assignments, academic exams, presentations, viva, assessed clinical practice by an approved mentor, and objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). The paper aims to discuss these issues.
An OSCE to assess second year mental health nursing students was determined to be a highly appropriate method of allowing students to demonstrate the skills associated with the nursing process, NMC standards and learning outcomes for the module.
It was recognised that preparation was essential in supporting the reduction of the student’s anxieties over the process, careful design and planning was needed to ensure reliability and validity of a logistically challenging assessment method.
OSCE have become a major contributor towards the assessment of student nurses and are regarded by some as the gold standard for assessment. However, this assessment has not been widely utilised within mental health nurse education and little research exists surrounding their use. This paper furthers the literature base on the use of OSCE by exploring the underpinning design rationale and the subjective experience of staff and students.
The authors would like to thank the students of 04/11 for their hard work and enthusiasm during the module.
Murcott, W.J. and Clarke, N. (2017), "Objective structured clinical exam: a successful approach to pre-registration mental health nurse assessment", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 90-97. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-06-2016-0031
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