Nursing profession is of paramount in the health care services industry; the quality of service offered in health care facilities is determined by the quality of nurses produced by the current teaching, evaluating, empowering, assessment, and licensing methods. According to Billing and Halstead, 2009, the role played by nursing faculty is increasingly becoming complex as the course is taught in colleges and universities rather than the traditional service centers (to reach the nurses for a centralized assessment has become a challenge). Need to continue improving the assessment system and upgrading it with time cannot be ignored. The faculty role in the traditional nursing evaluation has been changed by computer use, societal multiculturalism, knowledge expansion, globalization, and innovations at individual and professional level. The faculty has to incorporate these new parameters in their current assessing strategies (Billings & Halstead, 2009). This paper reviews three journals that give recommendations on how nurses should be assessed in modern changed nursing environment.
Assessment methods adopted
According to Rout & Roberts, nurses capabilities and potential can be evaluated using peer review method; this is an assessment that is out class assessment where it is done through friends, patients attended (this can take place when on field attachment), supervisors among other peers. When using this approach, the main strength of the approach is to ensure that people independent from classroom setting are used. What can be seen in conventional training is used to evaluate the potential and degree of competence of a training nurse. When this assessment method is employed, the writers are of the view that it will recognize areas that need further training and sharpening as well as learn talents, potential and capabilities of nurse. Peers spend most time with the training nurse, they see how he does his things, and his attitude and perception about the profession; their report can be used to establish areas that need further training. When peers evaluate a nurse, the main areas they can establish deficit are those of psychological preparedness of the training nurse. For example, peers may observe that the nurse has negative attitude toward patients suffering a certain disease, then they can advise the faculty to enact policies that will change the attitude and behavior of the nurse (Rout & Roberts, 2008).
Dellai, Mortari & Meretoja, 2009 are of the opinion that nurses after training may offer some sound information on the areas that they feel was not well covered or where they feel they need further training. The article observes that sometimes nurses fail to perform because they fear handling some tasks that they ever got the chance to grasp well in class. When someone has been given the space to self-evaluate himself, then the nurse can offer sound information on the areas that training is needed. When self evaluating, the training nurse should be made aware that he is not self evaluating himself for the benefits of graduating but it’s for the benefit of establishing areas that need to be improved. For example, a training nurse may feel that he did not understand pathology well; this will call for the faculty to organize for such classes (Dellai, Mortari & Meretoja, 2009)…
Tornøe, 2007, is of the opinion that nurses can effectively be assessed through supervision, mentoring, and coaching programs. According to the author, the faculty should ensure that a training nurse is at a certain level be working under a professional nurse who has the role of gauging his/her competence and at the end of a certain time, should recommend to the faculty on areas that needs improvement as well as where the particular nurse has high potential. During the assessment period, the nurse should have the role of guiding the training nurse on the right practice but if he fails to grasp, then recommend for further training. For example, a supervisor may note that a nurse is not careful on how he handles patients’ information, when such an area has been pointed out, the nurse may be assisted further through coaching, training and mentoring programs (Tornøe, 2007).
Recommendations from the analysis of the above articles
From the wide research I have conducted on assessment, I have realized that assessment methods adopted in current nursing profession tend not to be harmonized. What one side of the globe is doing it is different from what another one is doing. The best approach that I can recommend is an integrated method of assessment; a method that incorporates the faculty, the training nurses as well as third parties (third parties should be well vetted to ensure they are objective when accessing the nurses).
After such an approach has been used, it will be seen as data collection about the potential that the nurse has as well as the weakness that he may be portraying; incase one area is given much focus, then it should be the area of main focus and immediate training.
When gauging nurses, there should be other third parties outside the classroom setting, they are people who interact with the training nurse and are believed to give genuine information about the nurse. For example if the nurse has been on attachment, patients the training nurse was attending can be interviewed with great care; they can give information on the attitude, and perception of the particular nurse.
In the same environment, training nurses need to be evaluated just like registered nurses; this can be done in the facility they are training. Competent and professional nurses are better placed to understand what is happening in the life of a training nurse, they have undergone the training and can probably point out the areas that can be improved in a particular nurse.
Nursing has been referred to as more of a passion than a profession; nurses in the move to live their passion, have a role in the entire assessment process; they should offer a full account of what they feel they are not competent and up to standard. When they offer such information, they assist the faculty to plan for special training programs that address the need of a certain nurse. Other than being trained, nurses need to put their personal effort to improve themselves; with current technological development, they can learn new systems or improve those areas that they feel they have a deficit. When doing so, they should consult professional nurses for guidance.
An effective assessment method is crucial in establishing and growing training nurses potential as well as establishing areas that need further training. The result of such assessment is a highly respected profession that is able to offer quality, timely, and reliable medical care services.
Billings, D.M., & Halstead, J.A. (2009). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty. Philadelphia: World Bank Press.
Dellai, M., Mortari, L., & Meretoja, R. (2009). Self-assessment of nursing competencies – validation of the Finnish NCS instrument with Italian nurses. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 23(4), 783-791.
Rout, A., & Roberts, P. (2008). Peer review in nursing and midwifery: a literature review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17(4), 427-442.
Tornøe, K. (2007). Logging the clinical learning experience: creating a dynamic teaching and learning environment through log-based supervision and student self-assessment. Learning in Health & Social Care, 6(2), 94-103.