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Online test could find nurses with the right values


An online test that could be used to identify nursing course applicants who lack kindness and compassion is being trialled at universities across the UK.

The test presents applicants with a set of scenarios they are likely to face while working as a nurse, and asks them how they would react.

In a pilot scheme at London Southbank University and Great Ormond Street Hospital, the test identified as unsuitable the same 20% of applicants to a children’s nursing course as those rejected by interviewers.

It is now being trialled at a number of other universities including Kings College London, Manchester Metropolitan University, Liverpool John Moores University and Brighton University.

The online test is currently only being used alongside regular recruitment processes and will not determine whether applicants are accepted onto the course.

However, Yvonne Franks, associate director of nursing for NHS London, told Nursing Times the results of the pilot suggested the test could be used in future to identify unsuitable candidates before interview, saving resources.

“So much of what we do is intuitive and subjective,” she said. “There are hundreds of people applying for nursing courses at the moment. If you could concentrate on the more suitable applicants when interviewing, you could potentially get the cream of crop.”

The new NHS education and training body Health Education England has already stressed it wants to see more emphasis placed on values when recruiting staff to work in healthcare.

Ms Franks, who has been leading on the pilot, said interest in recruiting for values had been prompted in part by concerns from directors of nursing in London about the suitability of some nursing graduates. But she stressed it would be “naive” to think kindness and compassion alone would be enough for entry onto modern nursing courses.

Students will be followed through to see if tests can predict who is likely to make good nurses or whether recruits with certain attributes are more likely to drop out further through the course.

Eventually it is hoped the research will allow the development of profiles for people that would make the ideal nurse across different specialities.

Ms Franks said the longer term results of the study would be the “real nirvana” moment.


Readers' comments (11)

  • tinkerbell

    will the test also include spoon bending, uri geller style, plate twirling, pushing an elephant up the stairs, juggling, telepathic powers and other ESP, and spidey senses. being able to do more with less, enthusiam to work longer for less and pay more, the list is not exhaustive, yada, yada, yada.

    If you can do all the above then you're in.

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  • yeah u think i can do that tink(!)

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 10-Oct-2012 9:54 am

    of course you can, you're a wo(man).

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  • Our University decided against this as you have no idea who filled in the test as you are sent a link to log in. Also Universities have to pay per candidate to use it. How can potential applicants decide how they would manage or react in clinical situations when they have no experience?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 10-Oct-2012 11:26 am

    sounds like they haven't really thought this through have they?

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  • Pre-entry apprenticeship courses. These are the way forwards.

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  • The reality is; if any university decides to take students through nursing course, they need to support and help them to fulfil their goals instead of left them struggling and give them more stress. Students are different, and some students are need much support, so if they left by their own is kind of wasting their time at the result off from the course.

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  • So it is nothing to do with the total leadership failure within nursing at all levels and the brain dead clinically erelevant jobs worths that inhabit 'nursing academia' - maybe a online test could route out these types - then I would be joining Ms Franks in having a nirvana moment.

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  • 20% fail the initial interview? Judging by this site its not because of their spelling!

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  • This is a load of old tosh! How long has it taken for this to get into nursing???!!! Business have had psychometrics (which are much better than this unvalidated scenario rubbish) for years. If i had had psychometrics for my job i would have been better placed and i would not have been so unhappy in my job. In order to ensure my niece does not have the same problems we are purchasing for her psychometric testing that will help her identify her strengths and weaknesses so she will be better prepared for when she applies for jobs which are more relevant to her skills. Again, nursing, as usual, is 30 years behind everybody else in this!

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