Authors: Hongli Sam Goh, Mun Leong Tang, Kim Choon Elaine Ng, and Sara Ravan Ramzani
The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) was first introduced by Dr. Ronald Harden in 1970s to deal with the lack of objectivity and consistencies in clinical competence assessment among examiners due to the varied conditions within the real clinical workplace. OSCE has emerged as an authentic assessment method for evaluating clinical competence in doctors and other health professionals. Although OSCE has been widely researched on within the medical literature in terms of psychometric testing, there is a paucity of studies which report the development of OSCE as a summative examination within nursing education. This study describes the development of the OSCE instrument to measure final-year nursing students’ clinical competence and their readiness for practice at the end of a three-year nursing diploma program in Singapore. The findings showed that OSCE can be a valuable assessment method to measure clinical competence. The OSCE can also be used by nurse educators to determine learning gaps and provide remedial training for ‘under-performing’ graduating student while nursing administrators can use it to evaluate the clinical competence of foreign trained nurses as part of the interview process for recruitment and selection purposes.
Keywords: OSCE; nursing education; competence assessment