Implementation of Objective Structured Clinical Examination for Assessing Nursing Students’ Clinical Competencies: Lessons and Implications


Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) as a performance-based assessment method is a well established student assessment tool. Its popularity in the assessment of clinical competence is well documented and prominent in situations where reliability and content validity are fundamental. In this paper, we describe the implementation of OSCE in the Department of Nursing Sciences; University of Zambia for assessment of nursing students’ clinical competencies. The implementation process followed an eight step-approach from which several lessons were drawn and implications were generated. Major lessons included the need for adequate preparation of faculty and students, which is a fundamental ingredient to ensure reliability of the examination, and in minimizing stress and anxiety respectively. Following the implementation we acknowledged that OSCEs are suitable for testing clinical, technical and practical skills which may not be adequately assessed through traditional assessment methods as they possess the ability to improve the validity and reliability of assessments. Nevertheless, careful consideration should be taken to avoid entirely relying on OSCE as the only means of assessing clinical competencies.

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Katowa-Mukwato, P. , Mwape, L. , Kabinga-Makukula, M. , Mweemba, P. & Maimbolwa, M. (2013). Implementation of Objective Structured Clinical Examination for Assessing Nursing Students’ Clinical Competencies: Lessons and Implications. Creative Education, 4, 48-53. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.410A008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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