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Value of Nursing Objective Structured Clinical Examinations

A Scoping Review

Goh, Hongli Sam DBA, RN; Zhang, Hui PhD(c), MSN, RN; Lee, Chen Na MN, RN; Wu, Xi Vivien PhD, RN; Wang, Wenru PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000620
Nurse Educator: PDF Only

Background Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) have been used globally in medical education and touted as the “gold standard” for competence-based assessments. However, the value of OSCEs in nursing education has not been extensively evaluated.

Purposes This review aims to report the global trends in nursing OSCEs; evaluate their validity, reliability, acceptability, and costs; and present the characteristics of validated nursing OSCEs.

Methods This is a scoping review involving a systematic search in 7 electronic databases.

Results A total of 204 studies, published between 1982 and 2018, were included in the review. We found that nursing OSCEs were extensively used across various nursing specialties in 33 countries and confirmed their validity, reliability, and acceptability in nursing education.

Conclusions This review confirms the value of OSCEs in nursing education and presents the underlying characteristics of validated nursing OSCE designs.

Author Affiliations: Adjunct Lecturer (Dr Goh); Lecturer (Ms Zhang and Dr Wu); Associate Professor (Dr Wang), Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore; Nurse Clinician (Advanced Practice Nurse) (Ms Lee), Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Goh, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2, Clinical Research Centre, Block MD 11,10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597 (

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Accepted for publication: September 20, 2018

Published ahead of print: October 24, 2018

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