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Foundations of Clinical Performance

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Evaluation of undergraduate nursing students should be done using a tool that is efficient, unambiguous, succinct, adaptable and accurate in assessing and determining competency that is expected to result from an array of clinical experiences. This paper will present a brief report of the procedure that was employed by the faculty instructing an undergraduate program in establishing a clinical performance evaluation tool (CPET). The tool was developed for the purpose of precisely evaluating the competencies achieved in quality and safety education for nurses (QSEN).

The QSEN was intended to elucidate aptitudes that would be applicable to registered nurses. The project was undertaken in two phases that resulted in identifying evidence based practice, informatics, teamwork, quality improvement, safety and patient centered care as six competency areas and programs to facilitate new approaches in the academic spectrum. The CPET tool had three components which included a key, a checklist and a guideline. These components determine the specifics of the competencies of the clinical course, assess student performance and provide instruction for application of the CPET tool respectively. The CPET was pilot tested in 2008 and issues such as reliability, development process, meaningfulness, validity and sensitiveness were considered. In addition, the measurement burden that the faculty that will utilize the CPET would be subjected to was considered as well. \

Following evaluation of the program and revisions, it was recommended that the CPET is adaptable and applicable to other nursing programs. However, before the application can commence; orientation, socialization and incorporation of the faculty and students, the students and the student portfolio should be considered respectively. The new CPET tool that is QSEN focused was used in evaluating an intermediate medical surgical course. More revisions were made from input that focus groups and other face to face contexts yielded. Further pilot testing is planned.

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