Faculty at nursing schools are tasked with ensuring that students know the information required to provide adequate care for patients in real health-care settings. The NCLEX licensing exam is a final test to ensure that students have obtained the required knowledge before they are granted a license to work in the profession. Prior to this, though, faculty can use different types of evaluation methods to ensure that their nursing students are on the right track.
As part of the nursing program, students take tests to assess their knowledge of medical terminology and basic nursing care procedures. Faculty use these scores to gauge the progress students are making in the nursing program. Some schools only allow students to fail one or two tests during the nursing program before being dismissed from the program.
There are a variety of nursing procedures and tasks that nurses must be able to perform before they enter the actual health-care workforce. Instructors often evaluate students on these procedures using competency checklists. Students demonstrate how to competently perform tasks that are outlined on the list. Instructors evaluate each student's ability to perform the task. Before a student is allowed to graduate from the program, she must demonstrate proficiency in all nursing competencies.
During the clinical experience, students work with real patients, nurses, doctors and other health-care staff. Students are evaluated on the nursing tasks they provide to patients as well as their interactions with people for whom they provide care. This evaluation is handled by the clinical instructor who supervises students in the medical facility. The instructor often seeks feedback from staff members on how well the student interacted with them as well.
Student progress in the nursing program usually is evaluated based on grades, too. At the completion of each nursing course, a grade is assigned based on a student's overall performance and attendance. Grades help ensure that students are meeting the program requirements. Any student who does not earn at least a C grade may be required to repeat the course or dismissed from the nursing program.