Mentors’ and student nurses’ experiences of the clinical competence assessment tool

M. Sserumaga, A . Mubuuke, J. Nakigudde, I. Munab, Robert Opoka, S. Kiguli

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Background: The assessment tool for registered comprehensive nursing was introduced in nursing education in Uganda in 2005 with the main purpose of facilitating nurse mentors to easily assess the clinical competency of student nurses. The tool contributes to the formative and summative assessment of students. Despite continued use of the assessment tool over the years, no study has been conducted to explore the perceptions of nurse mentors and students regarding its use.

Objective: To explore the experiences of nursing students and their mentors regarding the clinical competence assessment tool.

Methods.: A qualitative exploratory study design was used. The study was conducted at Masaka School of Comprehensive Nursing in Uganda. The participants included 48 final-year nursing students and 5 nurse/midwifery mentors. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. Data were collected using 6 focus group discussions with students and 5 key informant interviews with mentors, and thematic analysis was used to interpret the data.

Results: From the responses, the participants generally had mixed experiences of the tool and suggestions were put forward for improvement. Five major themes emerged from student responses: (i) the orientation process; (ii) using the assessment tool; (iii) strengths of the assessment tool; (iv) challenges with the assessment tool; and (v) suggestions for improvement. The nurse mentors generally corroborated what the students reported, i.e. that the tool had challenges when one assesses student performance and gives feedback.

Conclusion: The participants reported satisfaction with the design of the assessment tool. However, some challenges were identified regarding its implementation by students and mentors. Key among these were the failure to have immediate assessment and feedback to students. Findings from the study could offer insights on how the tool could be improved.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPaediatrics and Child Health, East Africa
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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