An important consideration in providing opportunities for graduates of one type of nursing programme to move to another type is how provisions to assess and recognize previous educational experience can be made. If the different educational institutions reflect different educational goals then the concept of ‘blanket credit’ is suspect. On the other hand, although tests of ability and/or achievement have long been used as the basis for decisions as to student placement in educational curricula, lack of valid and reliable test instruments has been identified as an important factor preventing schools from providing advanced standing. In schools which do have some type of credit by examination procedure, teacher-made tests are highest in frequency of use.
The purpose of the project described in this article is to develop reliable and valid methods of determining the extent to which applicants with diploma nursing education have mastered the competencies which would enable them to receive credit for one or more years in the nursing subjects of a four year baccalaureate programme. The credit examinations to be developed will be based on certain assumptions regarding differences in baccalaureate and diploma nursing education and vill, in essence, be criterion referenced tests.