Pondicherry Journal of Nursing
Volume 13 | Issue 1 | Year 2020

Nursing Students’ Attitude toward Objective Structured Clinical Examination

Dhandapani Sundaresan

Department of Nursing, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India

Corresponding Author: Dhandapani Sundaresan, Department of Nursing, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India, Phone: +91 8056359604, e-mail: sdhandapani94@gmail.com

How to cite this article Sundaresan D. Nursing Students’ Attitude toward Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Pon J Nurs 2020;13(1):2–3.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: Permission obtained from the Principal of MMM College of Nursing to conduct the study


Background and objectives: The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) is a flexible multipurpose evaluation tool that can be utilized in a clinical environment to test healthcare practitioners. This assesses competency through close examination focused on unbiased assessments. The research aimed at evaluating the attitude toward OSCE among undergraduate nursing students at a selected educational institution in Chennai.

Materials and methods: A quantitative research approach is adopted with the use of descriptive design and a convenient sampling technique was used to select the samples. The study was conducted among 150 undergraduate nursing students studying in first, second, and third year, who had undergone OSCE examination. The attitude toward OSCE was assessed by using the self-administered structured questionnaire.

Results: The study findings reveal that 85.51% of the nursing students had favorable attitude toward OSCE. Age (χ2 = 7.940 at p = 0.05 level) and the other demographic variables had no significant association with attitude toward OSCE.

Conclusion: The students felt that the OSCE was well-structured and sequential, provided opportunities to learn, and reflected real-life situation.

Keywords: Attitude, Education, Evaluation, Objective structured clinical examination.


“The real power of this type of examination lies in the ability of those responsible for teaching and testing to examine their trainees with imagination and forethought, in a reliable way, in areas seldom or never tested before,” says Hart (2001). The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) was planned by Harden et al. in 1975. One of the crucial components of nursing education is clinical practice, and it can be stressful for students. In dynamic and complex clinical environments, they can face many challenges or threats, such as how to use high-tech medical equipment, how to maintain good relationships with clinical staff and instructors, how to manage sudden changes in a patient’s condition, and how to deal with the demands of patient relatives. Learning in the clinical environment provides the real-world context for nursing students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values.1

The OSCE is an exam based on performance. Trainees are examined and tested during the assessment as they travel through a set of stations where they assess, analyze, and give nursing care to the uniform patients presented with some form of question.

An OSCE is:

It is very important that every nurse working in areas needing essential nursing care such as high-dependency units has enough knowledge to assess and intervene appropriately; the nurse should also be able to communicate any change in patient’s condition for multidisciplinary intervention.

Nisha Naik (2012) conducted a study on attitude toward nursing education practical examination among MSc(N) students. Results indicate that 58% of the students have a pessimistic outlook toward the realistic nursing review. Approximately 57% of students referred out the need for improvements in the assessment as the conventional approaches utilized by educators to determine their students’ standards of professional skill were questioned on the grounds that such procedures neglect objectivity.

The field of nursing education is changing every day to meet the rapidly changing need of the healthcare industry and the larger society. So the personnel involved in the nursing education should adapt these changes with the right set of skills. Teaching and evaluating are the integral part of learning process and are two dimensions of the learning process. The teacher is a facilitator of learning and should create an environment that facilitate learning. There should be mutual trust between teacher and learner. In nursing education, the assessment of theory and practice is done often simultaneously and is three-dimensional. The OSCE appears to measure aspect of both clinical competence and theoretical knowledge. The OSCE is a fairly new evaluative system in the field of nursing. Hence, the investigators were motivated to conduct a study to evaluate the nursing student’s attitude toward OSCE.

Fig. 1: Percentage distribution of age of the nursing students


A study to assess the undergraduate nursing students’ attitude toward OSCE in a selected educational institution at Chennai.



A quantitative research approach with descriptive design was used to assess the attitude on OSCE among first-, second-, and third-year students of BSc nursing studying in MMM College of Nursing, which included total 150 students who had participated in this study. The attitude toward OSCE was assessed by using the self-administered structured questionnaire. Study samples were selected by using the convenient sampling technique based on sample selection criteria. In students who were willing to participate in the study and students in first-, second-, and third-year BSc(N) students who are available at the time of data collection were included. The study was conducted after obtaining the permission from the Principal, MMM College of Nursing. The selected samples were given a brief introduction about the self and the study. Initial rapport was maintained. It took 40–45 minutes for the students to complete the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics was used. Frequency and percentage were used to classify demographic data and to assess the level of attitude. Mean and standard deviation were used to assess the attitude of BSc nursing students toward OSCE. Inferential statistics and the Chi-square test were used to associate the level of attitude regarding OSCE with their selected demographic variables of nursing students.

Fig. 2: Percentage distribution of level of attitude toward OSCE among nursing students


Results show pertaining to age, majority (76, 55.47%) were in the age group of 20–21 years, 49 (35.35%) were in the age group of 18–19 years, and 12 (8.63%) were in the age group of 22–23 years. Regarding year of study, majority (49, 35.35%) were in third year of study. Frequency and percentage distribution of attitude toward OSCE among nursing students: Findings showed that 118 (85.51%) of nursing students had favorable attitude and 19 (13.77%) had moderately favorable attitude toward OSCE. Mean score of attitude toward OSCE among nursing students was 85.71 with standard deviation of 8.50 (Figs 1 and 2).

Association of the level of attitude toward OSCE among BSc nursing students with their selected demographic variables revealed that the demographic variable, age, had significant association with the level of attitude (χ2 = 7.940 at p = 0.05 level). Other demographic variables did not show statistically significant association with the level of attitude toward OSCE among BSc nursing students.


Even though the OSCE is a new evolution in the field of nursing, students noted that the exam was well-structured and in sequence. Students were enthusiastic and curious to perform. The OSCE provided a great opportunity for students to learn and explore. Also the majority of examinees were satisfied with conduct, organization, and administration of the OSCE as well preferred more for the clinical examination.


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2. Austin Z, O’Bynre C, Pugsley J, Quero Munoz L. Development and validation processes for an objective structured examination (OSCE) for entry-to-practice certification in pharmacy: the Canadian experience. Am J Pharm Edu 2003;67(3):Article 76.

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