The Development of a Tool to Measure QSEN Competencies

Document Type


Presentation Date

Fall 11-19-2013

Conference Name

Sigma Theta Tau International 42nd Biennial Convention

Conference Location

Indianapolis, IN


In response to the IOM’s call for change in health care education, the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Project established six competencies to help nurse educators design curricula. The faculty at one Midwestern University had incorporated these competencies in their program at all levels, but recognized an assessment tool was needed to evaluate students’ clinical performances related to these competencies. The presentation that follows will discuss a simulation project that resulted in the development of the QSEN Competency Assessment Tool (QSEN-CAT).

While students participated in an extended two-hour simulated clinical experience, faculty observers recorded clinical behaviors that demonstrated patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, safety, and informatics skills. After the project was completed, faculty identified clinical behaviors that reflected the QSEN competencies. The clinical behaviors were used to develop specific criteria on which to assess students in clinical or simulated experiences. The resulting tool allows faculty to record if students consistently, inconsistently, or never performed specific behaviors related to each competency. The presenters will discuss the development of the assessment tool in detail and provide participants with a draft of the tool, the QSEN-CAT.

The competencies and definitions developed by QSEN provide an excellent basis for the development of assessment tools to measure nursing student competency.



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