Case Study: Nursing Situational Judgement Test


Gone are the days when hospitals simply had 'nurses'. Nowadays nursing is a heavily banded profession and increasingly managerial. It's a specialised role in its own right, requiring evidence of continued personal development, supporting junior members of a team, being able to carry out risk assessments, participating in research, working as part of a multidisciplinary team, providing appropriate teaching and coaching and acting as a mentor. This is all in addition to carrying out individual nursing care.

Not surprisingly, it's not for everyone. In 2009 however, the Department for Health found itself receiving increasing numbers of applications for this role, whilst instinctively knowing that the reality of this job would not suit many of them.

Our Approach:

To help identify those applicants with the greatest propensity to thrive in this very different working environment (and eliminate those that simply would not be suited to the job), Mendas designed a test to work out whether applicants had the right qualities for this role.

It was launched after extensive research (a combination of interviews and research) about what qualities, attributes and values make a great nurse regardless of where they were based (these not only included being people-focused, non-judgmental, respectful and compassionate, but a particular type of 'thinking style' placing emphasis on information-gathering and problem-solving). The test falls into a type of category of psychometrics called Situational Judgement Tests (or 'SJTs'). Applicants are presented with a series of real-life situations along with a choice of possible responses. As the test proceeds, the type of decisions applicants choose builds up a picture to reveal those who have the greatest 'natural fit'.


A specific version of the tool focusing on Children's Nurses is currently being used by London South Bank University and The University of Greenwich. They are using our tool to sift out up to 20% of applicants to their Children's Nurse Degree Programme, allowing the later, more resource-intensive recruitment processes to focus on those who are the most suited to the profession. And it did all this without adversely impacting minority groups. These clients have been so impressed with the results of the tool and how easily it has integrated with their systems that we are currently working with NHS London to create further versions focusing on the other branches of nursing.

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