Objective structured clinical examination versus traditional clinical examination among nursing students: A comparative approach

Hoda Mohamed Nafee, Awatef El-Sayed Ahmed, Ahlam Mohamed Hussien


The complex nature of clinical competence in nursing consequently poses a challenge in identifying suitable assessment methods that are able to measure all its attributes as well as maintaining reliability, validity and objectivity. So the aim of this study was to compare nursing students’ opinions, feedback and clinical achievements grades in the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and the Traditional Clinical Examination (TCE) methods. A descriptive research design was used to conduct the study at college of nursing –Immam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IABU), kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A total of 96 undergraduate student nurses enrolled in the pediatric nursing course equally were divided randomly into TCE and OSCE group (n = 48) in each group. Two tools were used, first tool was  a structured questionnaire form to collect data related student’s academic number, age, method of exam used, achievement grades in the exam and the overall  suggestions to improve the method of exam used where the second tool was a self-administered questionnaire that modified from a Pierre et al. (2004) OSCE feedback questionnaire which included 23 items and categorized under four main dimensions with 3-point Likert scale ranged from agree, neutral and disagree to evaluate students’ opinions and feedback related to the quality, organization, scoring and physical set up of both methods. Results revealed that statistical significant differences were found with higher prevalence of agreement responses among students for OSCE methods related most of items listed in the four dimensions compared to those in TCE. Mean ± SD total score of students’ responses related to OSCE and TCE methods was 104.5 ± 15.6 and 95.3 ± 17.5 respectively where p value = .002. Majority of students 95.8% exposed to OSCE compared to 11.9% of them who exposed to the TCE achieved (A) excellent grades in the exam (score 90%-100%). Conclusion and recommendation, statistical significant differences were observed between students’ opinion and feedback with high prevalence of agreement responses related to OSCE compared to TCE methods. Clinical achievement grade was high among students whom evaluated by OSCE compared to those evaluated by TCE method. The study recommended that OSCE must be used as an integral part of the under graduate nursing students’ clinical assessment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v9n2p42

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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