A Competency Transcript for Communication with Employers

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 4:15 PM
Susan Sportsman, RN, PhD , Nursing, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX
Kathleen Roberts, RN, DNP , Wilson School of Nursing, Midwesstern State University, Wichita Falls, TX
Robin Lockhart, RN, MSN , Wilson School of Nursing, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX
The competence of a new nurse at the time of graduation influences the rapidity with which the nurse becomes an effective practitioner. Nurse educators believe that educational process prepares new graduates to be effective as soon as possible; yet clinical agencies are concerned that the new graduate may not have sufficient skills to manage patients independently when assuming their first clinical assignment. In response to this concern, orientation programs are developed to support the new graduates' further development. Oftentimes these programs repeat instruction provided in school, which may or may not be a needless expense. Strategies to enhance communication between nurse educators and clinical agencies and accurately document the competence of the new graduate are necessary to ensure that the new nurses' orientation is only as long as necessary to produce an effective practitioner.

The final session of the seminar describes the development of a competency transcript (CT), analogous to an academic transcript, used to communicate the new graduates' level of competence to their first employer. Composed of a psychomotor skills section and a critical thinking/decision making component, the CT was based upon high risk patient situations which students had participated in the Regional Simulation Center. The competency transcript was designed to communicate the new graduate's level of competence to the employer, using Benner's (1989) novice and advanced beginner categories. Developmental processes and methods to determine validity and reliability