Queen's University Belfast is trialling new psychometric tests as part of its admission process for nursing undergraduates.
The University's School of Nursing and Midwifery has revised its current selection process and introduced a new values-based approach to its recruitment procedure to ensure an increased focus on personal attributes and values.
As part of this exercise the School, in conjunction with Ulster University, is currently researching how the first stage in the recruitment process can be improved.
If a trial is successful the tests will replace the current written personal statement.
The tests, called 'Nurse Match', have been introduced as a new values-based approach to nursing recruitment and are designed to measure a prospective nurse's attitudes to the role and their personal values.
The test has been developed in collaboration with Hillsborough (Co. Down, Northern Ireland) company Identity Exploration Limited and takes a self-report approach - meaning it offers a deeper insight than a personal statement or standard psychological test since Nurse Match evaluates the resistance to change or stability of the candidate's values and their emotional significance to the candidate.
Dr Marian Traynor, Senior Lecturer at Queen's University Belfast's School of Nursing and Midwifery, commented: "There is, rightly, an increased focus on the values agenda across the NHS and we are keen that Queen's University's School of Nursing and Midwifery's recruitment process reflects that.
"The quality of our workforce is dependent on the quality of the recruits coming into nursing. This new approach is designed to uncover and score an applicant's attributes and values against professional standards.
"There are qualities that we need to measure in recruits before they come into the School to maintain the international reputation of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's."
Queen's University Belfast currently has almost 1,500 undergraduates in nursing and midwifery and will recruit a further 500 + for the 2018/2019 academic year.
Picture (c) Paul Faith / PA Wire.