Evaluation Techniques in Nursing Education and their Influence on Students’ Performances

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Faruk U. Abubakar
Auwalu Muhammed

Abstract

Background: Evaluation of nursing education is a topic that received much attention by the scientific community recently as it has direct bearing on students’ academic and clinical performance.
Aim: The study assessed the evaluating techniques and their influence on academic and clinical performances among student nurses.
Methods: A mixed method research design was employed. The target population comprises of all the tutors, clinical instructors, and students of five schools of Nursing in three States of Northern Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique aided the selection of targeted participants. Three instruments (questionnaire, Focus group discussion, and checklist) were used for data collection. The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics while the qualitative data was analysed using thematic content analysis.
Findings: The findings of the study showed that most of the tutors used written examination, long essay questions, and multiple choice questions in theory examinations, and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for practical examination. Overall, the tutors use formative and summative evaluation approaches. There were significant influences of evaluation techniques on students’ academic performance in two subjects (mental health nursing and pharmacology), p <0.05. The majority of the students submitted that they recorded good grade with long essay examinations as compared with multiple choice questions (MCQs) and combination of long essays and MCQs. For the clinical examination, the OSCE had more impact on students’ clinical performance compared to traditional clinical assessment because of the objectivity and smart nature of the technique.
Conclusion: Tutors should consider an evaluation technique that favours students’ academic and clinical performances. Much effort is required to improve the students’ position with the MCQs and the computer-based test (CBT) exams as virtually all educational agencies are gradually moving towards such techniques.

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Author Biographies

Faruk U. Abubakar

Registrar, Secretary General Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Abuja.

Auwalu Muhammed

Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto.