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Journal Article

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School of Nursing and Midwifery


Hughes, L. J., Johnston, A. N. B., Byrne, J. H., & Massey, D. (2023). Exploring assessment policies for clinical practice: A scoping review of the literature. Collegian, 30(4), 530-538.


Background: Assessment of pre-registration nursing students in clinical practice is an essential process, ensuring students who graduate meet standards for practice and competently and safely care for patients under their care. However, such assessment remains challenging for individuals and organisations. Aim: We aimed to investigate what is known about the application of clinical placement assessment policies guiding pre-registration nursing programmes. Methods: Arskey and O'Malley’s five-stage method for scoping reviews was employed. Health and education databases were searched in July 2020 and December 2021. Identified papers were screened. The Joanna Briggs Institute's critical appraisal tools were used to appraise the quality of the included articles. The Invitational Theory domains of people, processes, programmes, places, and policies were utilised to aid meaningful analysis of the findings. Findings: Nineteen articles were appraised: eleven primary data studies, two that psychometrically tested a survey instrument, four discussion articles, and two literature reviews. Article quality varied widely. Three themes were identified: lack of processes around clinical practice, people and clinical practice, and policies and clinical practice. Discussion: Assessment within placement is complex and unique. Uncertainty permeates the literature around assessment of pre-registration students in clinical practice. There is a clear need to promote policies that highlight differences between theoretical and practice assessment, ensuring all stakeholders can access relevant governance processes that support patient safety. Conclusion: More empirical evidence is needed to develop policies and processes that reduce uncertainty and improve patient safety associated with student assessment within clinical placements.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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