Starting points: In Slovenia, the higher education institution for nursing started exploring employability opportunities in nursing care in connection with the achievement of competencies from students’ and employers’ point of view. This article highlights the importance of monitoring nursing graduates’ employability. Its aim is to examine the employability of nursing care graduates based on the self-evaluation of competences obtained during the last study year and to establish a link between the self-evaluation of competences and students’ academic performance.
Methodology: A questionnaire was distributed to full and part time nursing care students attending the last study year at five different healthcare/health sciences faculties in Slovenia and to employers (healthcare institutions) where the majority of nursing care graduates finds employment. We examined the level of competence achieved by nursing students and the level of competences required by employers. The sample included a total of 485 students. 194 surveys were returned, which represent a 40 percent response. We used Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for each individual joined competence. Further, we compared employability skills of students and employers with Mann-Whitney and Wilcox rank-sum test. For correlation between two variables we used Spearman correlation analysis.
Results: The Mann-Whitney and Wilkson Rank test show that employers generally assess competences with a higher average grade in comparison to students and these differences are statistically significant. By applying the Spearman correlation analysis, we established that a statistically significant weak correlation may be observed between the “average grade” and “competences” variables.
Discussion and conclusion: Our findings show that a continuous monitoring of general and subject-specific competences gained by students, along with a periodic verification of competences demanded by employers, is necessary. It is very important to monitor the requirements of the labour market in terms of ongoing communication with employers who can best estimate special knowledge needs.
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