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Assessment Plan for Student Outcomes

Process Used to Develop Assessment Plan

The End of Program Objectives and Level Objectives for Nursing BSN Curriculum were developed by the faculty of the School and are derived from the mission/philosophy and purposes of the program.  The Assessment Plan is reviewed and refined as necessary at the Annual Curriculum Workshop.

The selection of the student outcomes included was based on the following criteria: relevance of the outcome for assessing and improving the quality of the program; identification in professional standards and guidelines, whether it is representative of either cognitive, affective or performance outcomes; frequent identification as a relevant outcome currently being evaluated by a large number of the schools surveyed; emphasis in the literature; and measurability using existing tools and methods that are readily available, reliable and valid.

Major Outcomes to be Assessed/Outcome competencies (professional attributes)

Using the mission/philosophy and End of Program Objectives as a basis, specific major student outcome areas have been identified by Nursing faculty. They are as follows:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Caring/Empathy
  • Clinical Competence (therapeutic nursing interventions)
  • Autonomy
  • Leadership

These major student outcomes have then been identified in the organizing framework of the BSN curriculum related to the three roles of Learner, Clinician and Leader. While specific student outcomes areas are identified with a specific role, this placement is somewhat arbitrary as all student outcomes areas are important to the professional graduate nurse who functions as a learner, clinician and leader.

The major student outcomes identified are cognitive, affective and performance based and are evaluated in both a formative and summative manner. Outcomes assessment therefore includes course embedded measures, specialized assessment tools, a senior portfolio and graduate data. These are identified on the attached tables.

Table 1 lists the specific major student outcomes, their assessment within the program (course embedded assessment and specialized assessment tools) and graduate assessment measures (employer and graduate surveys). Table 2 lists and describes specialized assessment tools discussing validity and reliability, content areas measured, scoring, time of administration and cost. Table 3 describes the Senior Portfolio according to input, process and output data.Tables 1,2 and 3

How Outcome Assessment Information Is Used

Findings and recommendations that result from implementation of the Outcomes Assessment Plan facilitate the following:

  • Clarification and strengthening of the purposes and objectives of the program
  • Valid assessment of student outcomes
  • Curriculum refinement & quality improvement
  • Refinement of teaching/learning strategies
  • Utilization of student outcome data for policy making, strategic planning and resource allocation
  • Effective utilization of student outcome data to market a quality nursing program and to improve the image of nursing
  • The public’s understanding of the importance of the Nursing profession in the delivery of high quality health care and nursing services
  • The improvement of the quality of nursing services available to consumers

Process for Identifying End of Program Objectives/Student Learning Goals and Outcomes for BSN Program

The curriculum of the Department of Nursing is derived from the philosophy, purposes and objectives of the program.  The faculty espouses a philosophy which is humanistic in nature and emphasizes the uniqueness, dignity and worth of each person.  Furthermore, the faculty believes that each person has a dynamic, creative drive with the potential toward higher levels of self-actualization which is energized by human caring.  From this base, the beliefs relative to Nursing’s metaparadigm (human beings, environment, health and nursing  practice) are derived.  The faculty believes that professional nursing concerns itself with the provision of essential services to society, which aim to maintain and improve the health of human beings, individually and as groups, in the community and society.  Throughout the entire program, the educational process espoused in the philosophy encourages lifelong learning, development of beginning leadership qualities and maintenance of excellence in nursing practice.

Lower division courses focus on the development of a basic foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable beginning students to develop greater awareness and understanding of the nature of human beings (complex, multi-dimensional, bio-psychosocial).  Upper division courses are organized to promote a better understanding of factors that promote optimal health in human beings, understanding the role of the nurse and the elements of professional nursing practice.

The purpose of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at The College of New Jersey is to prepare nurses to:

  • Enter the practice of professional nursing as an advanced beginner
  • Assume responsibilities of an educated person in society
  • Participate in the advancement of the profession
  • Pursue advanced study
  • Engage in life long learning

The End of Program Objectives are derived from the program mission/philosophy and purposes and are reflective of the organizing framework.  Achievement of the end of the program objectives enables fulfillment of the program purposes.

The curriculum of the School of Nursing is divided into three levels:

  • Level I – freshman, sophomore year
  • Level II – junior year
  • Level III – senior year

Each level has Level Objectives which are derived from the End of the Program Objectives.  Finally, specific course objectives flow from the Level Objectives.  All objectives are reflective of the AACN Essentials document and other professional standards and guidelines listed in the bibliography.

Selected Bibliography & Standards Referenced

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education  for Professional Nursing Practice.  Washington, D.C.: AACN.

American Nurses Association (2001).  Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Washington, D.C. American Nurses Publishing

American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice.  Washington, D.C. American Nurses Publishing.

American Nurses Association. (2004). Nursing’s Social Policy Statement.  Washington, D.C. American Nurses Publishing.

Boughn, S. (1995).  An Instrument for Measuring Autonomy-related Attitudes and Behaviors in  Women Nursing StudentsJournal of Nursing Education, 34, 106-113.

LaMonica, E.L. (1981). Construct validity of an empathy instrument. Research in Nursing and Health. 4, 389 – 400.

Statutes (N.J.S.A. 45:11-23 et seq.) and Regulations (N.J.A.C.13:37) Board of Nursing. 2004. Division of Consumers Affairs New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety.

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