• interviews;
  • nursing;
  • oral assessment;
  • undergraduate selection

There is a dearth of knowledge about individuals who interview candidates for nursing. Who are they and why do they volunteer to take part in an oral assessment process for selection of undergraduate nursing students? The aim of this study was to answer these questions, and to seek the perspectives of the assessors about the process.

Academic staff of the Faculty of Health Sciences, staff members of the Discipline of Nursing and registered nurses working in affiliated hospitals nominated for roles as oral assessors. All assessors received training and no payment was made.

Thirty-nine of 45 (86.6%) oral assessors completed questionnaires on their experiences of being an assessor. The majority of assessors were female (69.2%) and from a clinical background (71.8% vs. 28.2% faculty-based). The most commonly cited motivations included a desire to contribute to the development of the nursing profession (94.9% of responding); because they knew what was involved in a nursing career (79.5%); wanting to influence who becomes a nurse (76.9%); and because they understood the qualities needed to be a registered nurse (76.9%). Assessors spoke highly of the experience and in general found it enjoyable.