Vivien Xi WU
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Vivien Xi Wu is a Lecturer at Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and National University of Singapore. She is a central committee member in the Centre for Healthcare Simulation at National University of Singapore. She has facilitated simulation-pedagogical workshops for local and international medical and nursing clinicians. Currently, she works on the collaborative project that focuses on the Holistic Clinical Assessment for nursing students at Transition to Practice with two tertiary hospitals in Singapore. She also works on project to enhance the knowledge and awareness of chronic conditions for working population.
Achieving clinical competency in the final year of nursing education is a key element in the development of professional standards and patient safety. Assessment of clinical competence requires explicitly defined standards meeting national standards of the nursing profession. It is a complex process due to the diverse nature of nursing practice. Assessment of clinical competence is a crucial task for nursing educators and administrators. The study aims to explore the perceptions of hospital nurse educators, clinicians and managers on clinical assessment tool and practices for undergraduate nursing students. An exploratory qualitative approach using focus group discussion was adopted. A purposive sample of 14 hospital nurse educators, clinicians and managers from two tertiary hospitals in a cosmopolitan city was recruited to participate in two focus group discussions. Five themes emerged from data analysis: need for a valid and reliable clinical assessment tool, preceptors’ efforts and techniques in reflection and feedback, challenges and support system for preceptors, challenges and support system for students, and support system for hospital nurse educators, clinicians and managers. The study has raised the awareness of the professional and educational issues in relation to clinical assessment. Workload, time, availability of resources, adequate preparation of preceptors were deemed to influence quality of students’ clinical learning and assessment. Nursing leaderships in hospitals and educational institutions have a joint responsibility to shape the clinical environment to ensure a holistic clinical learning and assessment for students. Involvement of all stakeholders in the development of a valid and reliable assessment tool is essential.