- Performance, NCK examination, Institutional characteristics.
Kenya has seen a paradigm shift in nursing education sector recording high rates of enrolment of students to training while their performance in Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) examination remained variable and unpredictable. This study evaluated performance of BSc nursing students in NCK examinations by examining institutional characteristics in relation to performance. NCK identified it as priority area of research. The study used qualitative and quantitative approach to collect data retrospectively. The records of 1292 students who sat examinations in the period between the period July 2012 - June 2015 from NCK nurses database was used. Cluster and purposive sampling were done for key informants interviewed from nursing schools. Quantitative data was converted from MS Access to SAS and analyzed. Odds ratio was used to measure strength of association between institutional characteristics and performance with p ≤ 0.05 being considered significant. Qualitative data was recorded and transcribed for content analysis. The proportion of those who passed and aged 30 years and above (upgraders) was significantly higher than those who were less than 30 years (OR: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.2, p= 0.002). Both Class attendance policy and faculty experience had marginal positive association (OR: 0.4, 95%CI: 1.0-2.0, p=0.068) and (OR: 0.7, 95%CI: 0.5-1.0, p=0.068) respectively. Admission criteria was reported by key informants to be influencing performance, In conclusion the study identified faculty years of experience and class attendance policy were associated with performance. Mode of study was reported to influence performance by key informants. The study recommended training institutions to continue with upgrading Programmes, uphold class attendance policy, select faculty based on experience. Results can be used to predict performance and facilitate development of policies for recruitment and examination.