Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Why Do Some Nurses Find PBDS Controversial?

Higher Education Articles August 19, 2013

The Performance Based Development System, or PBDS, is an individually customized exam that evaluates the competency of hospital staff, particularly that of nurses. The exam focuses on three main areas of critical thinking, inter-personal relations and technical skills in one of four nursing specialties: medical surgical, critical care, neonatal ICU, and OB.

Purpose

After studying a report of an abnormal clinical scenario, relying primarily on photos and video clips, nurses are required to diagnose the problem, determine the best immediate response and provide reasoning for that response. In addition to accuracy on the test itself, an individual’s performance on the PBDS is based on attention to detail, level of anxiety and several other behavioral factors. Since final scores are evaluated against the performance standards of a particular hospital, a passing score may vary by location.

Usage

The PBDS nursing hospital program is often used as a supplement to orientation processes for new nurses. After studying a nurse’s responses to the exam’s questions, hospital administration is able to pinpoint areas in which improvement may be necessary. If nurses fail the exam, they are frequently required to undergo remedial training. This process can last up to six months, or until they are able to pass the exam. However, when used as an evaluation of temporary, or travel nurses, a performance considered unsatisfactory by the hospital will generally result in a cancellation of the nurse’s contract.

Accuracy Issues

The controversy over the PBDS is not related to its utilization in various scenarios, but to the validity of the test itself; most individuals claim that a nurse’s performance on the exam does not provide an accurate competency assessment. Although the PBDS official website claims that the test’s content has been researched by qualified organizations, no official documentation has been provided. At least in part for this reason, most individuals argue that hospitals that base employment decisions on the PBDS are relying on an exam that not only lacks credibility itself, but is often graded by unqualified individuals. This claim is supported by the fact that most experienced nurses have failed the test despite outstanding personal records, resulting in a possibly unjust cancellation of their contracts or an unnecessary reorientation process. Some examinees also claim that the reorientation process does not provide the information necessary to pass the exam the second time, such as study tools, indications of areas requiring improvement and so on.

Relevancy Issues

In addition to its accuracy, the relevancy of the test has also been called into question. The PBDS is an appraisal of a nurse’s critical thinking, relational and technical skills. The results of the exam are intended to be indicative of a nurse’s competence in actual clinical scenarios. But many argue that determining advanced medical diagnoses and the like requires the expertise of a doctor, not a nurse. The knowledge and experience necessary to provide accurate responses to the scenarios depicted in the video clips does not necessarily fall under a nurse’s expected skill set. As a result, most individuals argue that the PBDS cannot accurately predict realistic behavior, since the skills tested are not relevant to a nurse’s responsibilities.

Conclusion

In spite of these concerns, most other individuals do consider the PBDS to be a reliable test of a nurse’s competence. By posing challenging, abnormal scenarios to examinees, the PBDS can indicate the way that nurses would react in actual high-pressure situations. This ability of the exam can be beneficial regardless of its technical relevancy. If nurses respond to challenging scenarios with anxiety or confusion, they will likely respond that way in reality, whether or not realistic problems are similar to those depicted in the PBDS.

For this reason, the PBDS, although controversial, remains one of the most popular orientation and competency exams available. Currently, there are over 500 hospitals nationwide administering the exam and use its results to determine the most logical methods of nurse training, positioning and employment.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • RNs, join one of GCU's CCNE-accredited bachelor's, master's or doctoral nursing programs.
  • Offering a full spectrum of nursing programs to fit your education needs and career aspirations.
  • Online and evening classes designed to meet the needs of working students and adults.
  • A holistic, physical, emotional and spiritual approach to patient care is taught in the classroom.
  • Curriculum that connects classroom theories to working scenarios through many modalities.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!