Competency skills fairs and Performance-Based Development Systems are some of the methods available for assessing nursing staff competencies. Other methods are online programs, tests and checklists. Assessments help ensure that nursing staff meet the challenge of providing care to increasingly ill patients during increasingly shorter hospital stays.
Competency skills fairs involve having nurse specialists, experts, educators and administrators man several booths or stations during the fairs, with each booth specializing in a particular nursing skill. Nursing staff attend these fairs and move through the various stations to receive new nursing knowledge and skill, after which they need to pass a test or demonstrate the newly-learned skill to prove competency.
Performance-Based Development Systems tests require nurses to watch short videos of real-life clinical scenarios, after which nurses write down the steps they would take to address these situations. The PBDS tests assess a nurse's skills in critical thinking, interpersonal relationships and technical know-how in times of crises.