Careers Teacher Gets Nurse Match

21 May 2018

BBC Newsline Piece on Nurse Match Research with QUB

Newsreader: Queen’s University here is trialling a new way to decide to admit to study nursing.  They want to recruit nurses for their personal qualities as much as their academic ability and are using online psychometric tests to help.  Our education correspondent Robby Meredith reports.
Presenter Meredith: A-level students Zuzanna and Ann-Marie from St Louise’s college in West Belfast want to be nurses.  These psychometric tests are how they are finding out if they have got the right attributes for a demanding and in demand career. [screens shots of students responding to NM test]
Dr Marian Traynor: [shot of MT] We have over 2000 applications for nursing at Queens each year and this year the placements are going up so we will have in excess of 500 places available for those 2000 applicants. There are qualities such as professionalism, integrity, trust we need to measure in recruits before they come into, [we] recruit them into, the School of Nursing.
Meredith: And those qualities are measured by around a hundred detailed questions for instance about the skills and attitudes that nurses need.  Suzanne and Marie say that is better than the statement students currently write to apply to university.
Anne-Marie O’Rawe: I think its very good. It’s a lot better than personal statements because its not as subjective. 
Zuzanna Lasecka: You really start to think about what I would actually do and how would I overcome different problems. So I think that really helps you to learn something about yourself as well. 
Meredith: the Department of Health will have the final say over whether these test become a permanent part of the admissions process but this schools careers teacher also thinks they have many benefits.
Maria Lismore: On sitting this test, they came out and what  they said, you know, it made me think about myself and how I can apply those core values and after 40 minutes it was done.
Meredith: Ultimately A-level grades will get to say who gets to study nursing and go on to work in hospitals like the Royal Victoria but the hope is these tests will make prospective nurses think more deeply about the many non-academic qualities needed for the role and make it easier for universities to identify the people who have them.  
Robby Meredith for BBC Newsline.

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