Major Article 

Use of a Script Concordance Test to Assess Development of Clinical Reasoning in Nursing Students

Marie-France Deschênes, MSc (Nursing), RN; Bernard Charlin, PhD, MD; Robert Gagnon, MPsy; Johanne Goudreau, PhD, RN

Abstract

The methods for assessing and measuring clinical reasoning as it pertains specifically to nurses are inadequate, if not nonexistent. The purposes of this methodological study were to develop a script concordance test and conduct a preliminary validation of its psychometric qualities. A script concordance test was created and the test scoring grid was constructed using the combined-score method and based on the responses of a panel of 15 experts. Thirty first-year bachelor of nursing students completed the test. The scores for the experts and students were compared with a t test, and the reliability of the scores was measured by Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. A statistically significant difference was found between the scores of the experts and novices. The scores’ reliability is high. The script concordance test is an innovative instrument that provides a standardized method for assessing nurses’ clinical reasoning.

Authors

Ms. Deschênes is nursing instructor, Collège de Maisonneuve, Dr. Charlin is Director of Research and Development and Dr. Gagnon is consultant, Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée Pour Les Sciences de la Santé (CPASS), and Dr. Goudreau is Associate Professor and Vice-Dean (Baccalaureate Programs), Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Goudreau is also Researcher, Équipe de Recherche en Soins de Première Ligne, Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux de Laval, Laval, and Researcher, Center for Innovation in Nursing Education, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.

Address correspondence to Johanne Goudreau, PhD, RN, Associate Professor and Vice-Dean (Baccalaureate Programs), Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Marguerite-d’Youville, 2375 Côte-Ste-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1A8; e-mail: johanne.goudreau@umontreal.ca

10.3928/01484834-20110331-03

The methods for assessing and measuring clinical reasoning as it pertains specifically to nurses are inadequate, if not nonexistent. The purposes of this methodological study were to develop a script concordance test and conduct a preliminary validation of its psychometric qualities. A script concordance test was created and the test scoring grid was constructed using the combined-score method and based on the responses of a panel of 15 experts. Thirty first-year bachelor of nursing students completed the test. The scores for the experts and students were compared with a t test, and the reliability of the scores was measured by Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. A statistically significant difference was found between the scores of the experts and novices. The scores’ reliability is high. The script concordance test is an innovative instrument that provides a standardized method for assessing nurses’ clinical reasoning.

Ms. Deschênes is nursing instructor, Collège de Maisonneuve, Dr. Charlin is Director of Research and Development and Dr. Gagnon is consultant, Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée Pour Les Sciences de la Santé (CPASS), and Dr. Goudreau is Associate Professor and Vice-Dean (Baccalaureate Programs), Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Goudreau is also Researcher, Équipe de Recherche en Soins de Première Ligne, Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux de Laval, Laval, and Researcher, Center for Innovation in Nursing Education, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.

Address correspondence to Johanne Goudreau, PhD, RN, Associate Professor and Vice-Dean (Baccalaureate Programs), Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Marguerite-d’Youville, 2375 Côte-Ste-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1A8; e-mail: johanne.goudreau@umontreal.ca

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