Self-assessed level of graduating nursing students’ nursing skills

Satu Kajander-Unkuri, Riitta Suhonen, Jouko Katajisto, Riitta Meretoja, Mikko Saarikoski, Leena Salminen, Helena Leino-Kilpi


Objective: To evaluate the level of nursing skills at the point of graduation based on students’ self-assessments and to identify possible related factors.

Background: Nursing skills have been identified as one of the key factors in enhancing patient safety. Maintaining patient safety is a major concern for nurses, which is why the level of graduating nurses’ skills needs to be evaluated. Also, little is known about factors related to students’ nursing skills.

Methods: Evaluation is based on graduating nursing students’ (n = 154, response rate 51%) self-assessments during final clinical placements in Finnish university hospitals in 2011. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics such as paired T-test, Multifactor Analysis of Covariance and Pearson/Spearman correlation coefficients were used to analyse the data.

Results: The overall level of nursing skills was self-assessed as good (75.4; VAS 0-100). Nursing skills related to the care of a dying patient was the only category assessed to be on moderate level (63.1; VAS>57-66.8). The more positively the students self-assessed their readiness for practice based on nurse education and the supervisory relationship in clinical placement, the higher was the self-assessed level of nursing skills.

Conclusions: Students’ assessments of their level of nursing skills should be taken into account when planning orientation and mentorship programmes for practical work to ensure safe and qualified patient care. Nurse educators should ensure that students can practice nursing skills related to care of a dying person during nurse education. A knowledge test, observation, or comparing the students’ evaluations to assessments by mentors could provide a more comprehensive picture of the level of students’ nursing skills.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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