AbstractEach year, thousands of students throughout the world are required to complete one or more high-stakes tests as a measure of competency in undergraduate nursing education. Currently, the trend in nursing education is to use high-stakes tests to establish program progression policies. However, use of these tests to block student progression is of serious concern. This article describes findings of a pilot study that used a phenomenographic approach to understand senior nursing students’ experiences of completing multiple high-stakes tests for successful progression within one undergraduate nursing program. Eighteen graduating senior nursing students participated in the study via individual interviews. Students described a multitude of experiences, organized into five main categories of descriptions: high-stakes tests as a value; high-stakes tests as a stressor; high-stakes tests as a high expectation; high-stakes tests as various inconsistencies; and high-stakes tests affecting the transfer of learning. Student perspectives with high-stakes testing contributed valuable insight lacking in the current nursing education literature. Findings suggested if high-stakes tests are to be used for program progression, it is imperative for nurse educators to convene and explore strategies to support student preparation and success with testing, and develop well-defined structures of teaching and learning for the delivery of course content.
International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship – de Gruyter
Published: Feb 8, 2018
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