Posted on Aug 13, 2021

USF Health College of Nursing innovates clinical nursing exams through CLARIFIRE collaboration

USF Health College of Nursing innovates clinical nursing exams through CLARIFIRE collaboration

The USF Health College of Nursing has prepared generations of great nurses to become future healthcare leaders. Now, the college continues to innovate nursing education by developing better ways to create, administer and score clinical nursing exams.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a standard assessment of competence for many clinical sciences. USF uses OSCEs to assess the skills of its future nurses as they diagnose and treat mock patients through a series of realistic simulated environments. Because they are typically administered and scored on paper, these exams have required an enormous amount of time and effort.

Last year, the school selected the CLARIFIRE® OSCE solution to revolutionize and digitize OSCEs.

Created by Clarifire founder and CEO Jane Mason, a USF graduate, CLARIFIRE uses a digital, workflow-based approach and electronic checklists to simplify the exam process. It automates scoring to reduce subjectivity in exam grading, and it encrypts and backs up all exam data on remote servers.

CLARIFIRE also uses a user-friendly interface to give faculty members real-time visibility into the exam results. More importantly, examiners have more time to offer constructive feedback, which can be more readily shared with students to support learning.

Research from the University of Dublin and Saudi Arabia’s Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University has found that academic teams prefer electronic OSCEs (eOSCEs) since they are easier to use than the traditional paper-based exams. The eOSCEs became especially helpful during the COVID-19 lockdown.

USF College of Nursing professors agree. “Using eOSCE provided ease in the process of student evaluation by faculty and in communication of feedback to students,” said Elizabeth Remo, assistant professor at the College of Nursing. “CLARIFIRE helps improve the evaluation process, providing timely access to reports and ease in communication of feedback to students. Faculty evaluators appreciate the ability to focus more on student assessment and observation, instead of having to hand-write and flip through documents during the evaluation process.”

“Being able to test students remotely during the pandemic lockdown has been instrumental to the continued success of our nursing program, and digital assessments through OSCEs made it possible,” Dr. Hay added.  “As a result, our graduates are not only better prepared to excel in an increasingly digital industry—they are ready to lead.