Use of a National Clinical Final Examination in a Bachelor’s Programme in Nursing to Assess Clinical Competence—Students’, Lecturers’ and Nurses’ Perceptions


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of students, lecturers, nurses and clinical lecturers regarding the ability of the National Clinical Final Examination (NCFE) to assess clinical competence, and whether the assessment was consistent with the qualifications for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing as outlined by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. The NCFE is divided into two parts (written and bedside) and aims to evaluate third-year nursing students’ clinical competence. Methods: Data were collected at 10 universities using study-specific questionnaires. The total response rate was 84% (n = 1652). Results: The clinical lecturers indicated that there was a need for improvement in the written part of the examination in order to adequately assess clinical competence. Regarding the bedside part the clinical lecturers, nurses and students perceived that the bedside part of the examination assessed whether the student had the clinical competence required by a newly registered nurse. Conclusion: The two-part examination described in this study was perceived as useful for assessing clinical competence and for the qualification requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing as outlined by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. However, especially the written part requires further development. The model and form of assessment ought to be applicable to graduate nursing programme internationally.

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Johansson, U. , Andersson, P. , Larsson, M. , Ziegert, K. and Ahlner-Elmqvist, M. (2014) Use of a National Clinical Final Examination in a Bachelor’s Programme in Nursing to Assess Clinical Competence—Students’, Lecturers’ and Nurses’ Perceptions. Open Journal of Nursing, 4, 501-511. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.47053.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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