Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The practice of Nursing requires development of higher-level cognitive skills, values, psychomotor and technological skills for care of patients across a variety of settings. Achievement of knowledge alone is not enough; professional education incorporates practice where students develop nursing competencies in order to care for patients in health settings. How does a nurse educator determine if the student has achieved the required competencies of nursing practice? This paper will discuss the results of a review of evidence based clinical performance evaluations in nursing education in order to answer this clinical question: What is the evidence to support an effective method for evaluating clinical performance of nursing students? There are multiple methods of clinical evaluation that exist including the use of an objective structured clinical examination tool, clinical performance assessment tool, observation, surveys, and semistructured interviews to name a few. The challenge presented with these methods is the issue of evaluating students in a consistent, reliable and valid manner. The use of rubrics as an evaluation tool was strongly supported in the literature as an effective method. Nursing implications regarding the use of criterion-referenced evaluation methods is discussed including the nurse educators' responsibility to students and academic facilities in efforts to prepare competent nurses, the means of increasing student accountability in the clinical setting, and how communication can be enhanced among students and instructors .