Students perspectives on skills acquisition and confidence

Meechan, Ronnie, Jones, Helen and Valler-Jones, Tracey (2011) Students perspectives on skills acquisition and confidence. British Journal of Nursing, 20(7), pp. 445-450. ISSN (print) 0966-0461


Aim: To investigate students' perspectives on their skills acquisition and knowledge during the foundation year of their nursing programme, and whether this improved students' levels of competence and confidence. Method: Two groups of nursing students (n=140) responded to a clinical acquisition skills survey (CASS) to elicit their perceptions of clinical skills acquisition. Additionally, students' competence levels were examined, drawing comparisons with the students' objective, structured clinical examination (OSCE) results. Results/Findings: Students identified that the curriculum supported the acquisition of clinical skills, and clinical examination results confirmed that 95% of students were competent to pass their OSCE. Conclusion: Students' responses to items that related to perceived confidence and competence levels were positive. This indicates that the introduction of clinical skills teaching and assessment within a university's simulation suites augmented with structured assessment within the clinical environment improved the acquisition of clinical skills.

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