Nursing school can be a difficult course of study to complete as there are a variety of medical terms, medicines, health conditions and nursing procedures a student must know to pass the program. To ensure students have the required knowledge and skills before they work in an actual medical facility, nursing schools employ a number of different nursing education evaluation tools.

Test Scores

Nursing programs generally begin with students in lecture-type classrooms where they obtain the basic knowledge and skills needed for the nursing profession. Instructors use tests as an evaluation tool to determine if the student acquired the necessary knowledge from previous classes. Some nursing programs have policies that students can only miss two tests before they are dismissed from the program.

Skill Competencies

Students participate in lab classes to practice the nursing skills they've learned in the classroom. This practice is generally completed on mannequins or simulation dummies as this allows students to make mistakes without posing a risk to an actual patient. Instructors evaluate students by asking them to demonstrate their nursing skills. These skills are ranked using percentages of how well the students demonstrated they could perform the skill competency.

Clinical Assessment

In clinical settings, nursing students perform medical procedures and care on actual patients. While the clinical instructor is there to supervise them and ensure they don't make a mistake that would be detrimental to the patient, they also evaluate them through observation. They rank their skills and knowledge while also providing feedback on their strengths as well as areas where they can improve. At the end of the clinical course, students are graded on their overall clinical experience.

NCLEX Pass Scores

The National Licensing Exam (NCLEX) is taken by prospective nurses when they apply for their license. While this exam is given by an outside agency that is not affiliated with the school, the scores nursing students receive on the test are used to evaluate nursing education programs. Some states use NCLEX pass rates to determine whether nursing programs get state funding or grants. Prospective students also analyze pass rates when deciding which school is the right place for them.

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