Discuss three types of clinical evaluation tools. What are the pros and cons for each type?

Discuss three types of clinical evaluation tools. What are the pros and cons for each type?

Discuss three types of clinical evaluation tools. What are the pros and cons for each type?


Clinical Evaluation Tools

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Clinical Evaluation Tools
Clinical settings use various evaluation tools to assess nursing students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding program/course outcomes and professional nursing standards. These evaluation tools enable students, faculty, and preceptors to measure nursing student performance during clinical experiences and assess their progress accordingly. The purpose of this essay is to review three common forms of evaluation tools with their respective advantages and disadvantages.


Checklists are structured tools to track specific skills, tasks, or behaviors that need to be observed and assessed in clinical settings. One of the main benefits of checklists is their objectivity, providing clear evaluation criteria (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2019). Checklists also foster standardization by offering an objective evaluation approach that ensures all students are assessed using identical criteria. However, they focus solely on specific skills or tasks, potentially overlooking the bigger picture and all aspects of nursing care.
Clinical Performance Rating Scales (CPRSs) provide another evaluation tool, using a rating system to assess nursing students across various domains. These evaluations enable a comprehensive assessment by gauging nursing students’ performance across multiple disciplines, such as communication, clinical skills, professionalism, and critical thinking. Rating scales do have their drawbacks, however (Mestre et al., 2018). Their subjective nature allows different evaluators to interpret them differently or have inherent biases that hinder effective differentiation between performance levels.
Self-assessment tools are another clinical evaluation tool that helps nursing students reflect upon their knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These assessments may take different forms – self-evaluation forms, portfolios, or reflective journals. By encouraging reflection and self-awareness, these assessments allow nursing students to recognize both their strengths and areas for improvement. By actively engaging in self-assessment, nursing students take ownership of their learning process while encouraging self-directed learning. However, self-assessment results may need to be more accurate due to overestimating or underestimating student abilities. Self-assessment tools are inherently subjective, depending on students’ perceptions of their performance rather than external evaluation.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2019, September 7). Checklists | PSNet. Ahrq.gov. https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primer/checklists
Mestre, T. A., Busse, M., Davis, A. M., Quinn, L., Rodrigues, F. B., Burgunder, J.-M., Carlozzi, N. E., Walker, F., Ho, A. K., Sampaio, C., Goetz, C. G., Cubo, E., Martinez-Martin, P., & Stebbins, G. T. (2018). Rating Scales and Performance-based Measures for Assessment of Functional Ability in Huntington’s Disease: Critique and Recommendations. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 5(4), 361–372. https://doi.org/10.1002/mdc3.12617

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