What’s going on in the clinical examination room?-An exploratory and comparative study of two types of clinical exams and their meaning for nursing students in the final year of the nursing education

Christina Jensen, Tanja E. Bertelsen, Frederik L. Kuipers, Sofie R. Jessiman, Lene R. Andersen, Astrid G. Sørensen, Niels S. Larsen, Camilla Bernild


This study is an education experiment based on a comparative approach, where two clinical exams – a bedside exam and a written case study exam – are investigated simultaneously. The article explores what’s going on in the two exams and how nursing students assess and experience them. Based on these findings, we discuss the types of logics, knowledge, and competencies the two exams enhance and limit, respectively. Data consists of a questionnaire survey with 104 students (56/48), observations of twelve exams (6/6), followed by two focus group interviews with nurse students. The analysis shows that the bedside exam enhances ‘knowing-in-action’, ‘reflection-in-action’, ‘shows how’ and ‘does’ by its focus on nursing actions. It is unpredictable and promotes ‘logics of relational care, care production and care education'. The written case study exam enhances ‘reflection-on-action’, ‘knows’ and ‘knows-how’ by its focus on theoretically based reflections on nursing practice. It is predictable and enhances ‘logic of care education’.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v14n7p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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