Journal of Nursing Education

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Educational Innovations 

Linking Competency-Based Assessment to Successful Clinical Practice

Colleen J. Klein, MS, APRN, BC

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2006;45(9)
  • Posted September 1, 2006

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Competence is essential for health care professionals; graduates must meet the responsibilities associated with a particular position. At one community college, nursing faculty have used a competency-based approach to educate and evaluate associate degree nursing students. The nursing curriculum is designed to allow for the inclusion of laboratory experiences for each nursing course and requires students to complete a clinical performance examination before advancing to the next level. The examination is designed as a clinical scenario with three to four responsibilities completed in random order. Critical elements developed by faculty are used to assess student competence. The increase in graduates’ abilities to complete these skills has been valuable to both employers and graduates. Since 1992, with the implementation of a competency-based curriculum, the program’s NCLEX-RN® pass rates (98%) have been consistently above the national and state averages.

AUTHOR

Received: August 26, 2004

Accepted: February 22, 2005

Ms. Klein is Professor of Nursing, Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, Illinois, is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at Illinois State University.

The author wishes to acknowledge the following people for their assistance in manuscript preparation: Dr. Eileen Fowles, Associate Professor, Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University; Dr. George Padavil, Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Foundations, Illinois State University; and Dr. Brigid Lusk, Acting Chair, School of Nursing, Northern Illinois University. The author also wishes to thank Catherine Klein, MA, of Sauk Valley Community College for her editorial suggestions.

Address correspondence to Colleen J. Klein, MS, APRN, BC, Professor of Nursing, Sauk Valley Community College, 173 Illinois Route 2, Dixon, IL 61021; e-mail: kleinc@svcc.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Competence is essential for health care professionals; graduates must meet the responsibilities associated with a particular position. At one community college, nursing faculty have used a competency-based approach to educate and evaluate associate degree nursing students. The nursing curriculum is designed to allow for the inclusion of laboratory experiences for each nursing course and requires students to complete a clinical performance examination before advancing to the next level. The examination is designed as a clinical scenario with three to four responsibilities completed in random order. Critical elements developed by faculty are used to assess student competence. The increase in graduates’ abilities to complete these skills has been valuable to both employers and graduates. Since 1992, with the implementation of a competency-based curriculum, the program’s NCLEX-RN® pass rates (98%) have been consistently above the national and state averages.

AUTHOR

Received: August 26, 2004

Accepted: February 22, 2005

Ms. Klein is Professor of Nursing, Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, Illinois, is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at Illinois State University.

The author wishes to acknowledge the following people for their assistance in manuscript preparation: Dr. Eileen Fowles, Associate Professor, Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University; Dr. George Padavil, Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Foundations, Illinois State University; and Dr. Brigid Lusk, Acting Chair, School of Nursing, Northern Illinois University. The author also wishes to thank Catherine Klein, MA, of Sauk Valley Community College for her editorial suggestions.

Address correspondence to Colleen J. Klein, MS, APRN, BC, Professor of Nursing, Sauk Valley Community College, 173 Illinois Route 2, Dixon, IL 61021; e-mail: kleinc@svcc.edu.

ABSTRACT

Competence is essential for health care professionals; graduates must meet the responsibilities associated with a particular position. At one community college, nursing faculty have used a competency-based approach to educate and evaluate associate degree nursing students. The nursing curriculum is designed to allow for the inclusion of laboratory experiences for each nursing course and requires students to complete a clinical performance examination before advancing to the next level. The examination is designed as a clinical scenario with three to four responsibilities completed in random order. Critical elements developed by faculty are used to assess student competence. The increase in graduates’ abilities to complete these skills has been valuable to both employers and graduates. Since 1992, with the implementation of a competency-based curriculum, the program’s NCLEX-RN® pass rates (98%) have been consistently above the national and state averages.

AUTHOR

Received: August 26, 2004

Accepted: February 22, 2005

Ms. Klein is Professor of Nursing, Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, Illinois, is currently enrolled as a doctoral student at Illinois State University.

The author wishes to acknowledge the following people for their assistance in manuscript preparation: Dr. Eileen Fowles, Associate Professor, Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University; Dr. George Padavil, Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Foundations, Illinois State University; and Dr. Brigid Lusk, Acting Chair, School of Nursing, Northern Illinois University. The author also wishes to thank Catherine Klein, MA, of Sauk Valley Community College for her editorial suggestions.

Address correspondence to Colleen J. Klein, MS, APRN, BC, Professor of Nursing, Sauk Valley Community College, 173 Illinois Route 2, Dixon, IL 61021; e-mail: kleinc@svcc.edu.

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