The predictive value of two on-site selection methods of undergraduate nursing students: A cohort study

Kirsi Talman, Maija Hupli, Pauli Puukka, Helena Leino-Kilpi, Elina Haavisto


Nursing programs aim to select students who will succeed in theoretical studies and in clinical practice, and who are suitable for the profession. Recent literature has suggested an assessment of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in nursing student selection. The aim of this study is to compare the predictive value of two on-site selection methods used in nursing student selection, namely, psychological aptitude tests and literature-based exams. A cohort study was conducted. Students admitted to four undergraduate Bachelor of Science nursing programs at one Finnish nursing school between 2002 and 2004 (N = 626) were allocated into two cohorts based on the on-site selection method. Follow-up data was collected at two measurement points (May 2004–May 2009). The multimethod data collection included the use of admission archives (entrance exam scores), study records (study success) and a structured self-report questionnaire (knowledge and skills). Statistical data analysis was undertaken. According to the results, the two on-site selection methods produced very similar results regarding their predictive value. Both of the on-site selection methods predicted knowledge and skills, and study success of nursing students to some extent, but only explained a small proportion of variance. To conclude, neither of the two on-site selection methods should be used alone when predicting knowledge and skills or study success of nursing students. Further longitudinal research is needed to investigate the predictive value of various on-site selection methods.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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