Learn more about the PBDS Nursing Test and Assessment

pbds nursing exam

The Performance Based Development System (PBDS) nursing assessment test measures a nurses’ ability to think critically at critical times – i.e. when saving a life matters most. It’s being used by hundreds of healthcare employers nationwide to measure a nurse’s communication and technical skills and is a “must pass” for travel nurses and staff RNs in search of nurse jobs with major healthcare employers (across all specialties: Med-surg nurses, OR nurses, NICU and ER nurses…)

“The PBDS test seems to be a huge topic when speaking to travelers," said Deb Bacurin, RN and Clinical Coordinator for 50 States.

Ms. Bacurin said seasoned nurses fear the multiple-choice test for a number of reasons. First, many haven’t been exposed to such rigorous competency testing in years – some since nursing school. Second, though many excel in their nursing jobs, they may not be the best at explaining the pathophysiological aspects of certain conditions in a virtual environment. The PBDS nursing test requires nurses to view videos of simulated patient scenarios and write down all steps necessary to effectively manage a particular clinical situation.

PBDS assessment methods continue to grow in popularity among major health systems. Healthcare employers find that testing nurses improves patient safety and outcomes and is ideal for weeding out ‘less than competent’ nurses. In fact as a new hire, most travel nurses get only one shot at passing the PBDS test. Few hospitals offer retakes. If competency testing isn’t yet part of best practice recruiting at a facility, it soon will be. It’s fast becoming a preferred method in sourcing the best candidates.

Inasmuch as some nurses may object or feel offended by the PBDS test assessment or similar nursing test, performance-based assessments are a fact of life now - in a nursing career and in other professions. Measuring human performance in quantifiable terms is the new generation of financial accountability in healthcare, especially since payroll is a hospital’s single most controllable operating cost.

To prepare for the PBDS test

If you’re new to travel nursing or have traveled for years and have yet to encounter a PBDS nursing test, you’ll want to discuss the role free continuing education units play in helping you prepare for the PBDS nursing test and for future assignments. This can be done by contacting a reputable travel nursing agency, such as 50 States Staffing, to find out which hospitals rely on PBDS nurse testing and what specifically to expect from individualized PBDS tests. Competency test questions and testing modalities vary among providers. You can also click on travel nurse career resources for more information.

Staying current on healthcare information technologies, new modes of care and communication has never been more important for nurses. Nursing Continuing Education Units with 50 States Staffing are unlimited. Our free CEU courses satisfy State Board of Nursing Requirements and will satisfy YOU!  

Addition Resources:  Flash Cards,  Clinical Reasoning White Paper