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Burke, E,Kelly, M,Byrne, E,Chiardha, TU,Mc Nicholas, M,Montgomery, A
Nurse Education In Practice
Preceptors' experiences of using a competence assessment tool to assess undergraduate nursing students
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Preceptors Competence Assessment tool Undergraduate nursing students CLINICAL COMPETENCE NURSES
The purpose of this study was to explore Irish preceptors' experience of using a competence tool to assess undergraduate nursing students' clinical competence. This study used a mixed methods design. This study was conducted in two phases, the qualitative phase involved six focus group interviews to ascertain preceptors' experiences of using an assessment tool to assess clinical competence. The quantitative phase involved a descriptive survey measuring preceptors (N = 843) attitudes linked,with the use of the assessment tool.The key themes that emerged from qualitative analysis were challenges of using the assessment tool, recognising competence and valuing adult learners. The challenges of using the tool included negotiating complex language and time constraints in completing assessments. Recognising competence revealed the use of intuition and subjectivity. While valuing adult learners acknowledged the reciprocal learning process between the preceptor and the learner. These findings reveal the inherent skills of preceptors to intuitively and subjectively recognise competence. The quantitative findings revealed merits and challenges for the preceptors using the assessment tool. In particular the complexity of the language was highlighted as an issue. A key recommendation from this research is the need to revise the assessment tool to support objective and subjective measurement of competence. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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