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To describe the development and evaluation of a model for a national clinical final examination in the bachelor nursing education.After the transfer of nursing education to the academy, concerns have been raised among nurses, nurse leaders, lecturers and researchers about the nursing students' clinical competence at the entrance to professional life.During 2003 to 2005, a collaborative project was carried out between four universities and adjunctive health-care areas supplying clinical placements in Sweden. A two-part examination was agreed upon comprising a written theoretical test and a bedside test. An assessment tool for the bedside test was created. Nursing students, nurses and clinical lecturers participated voluntarily in the evaluation.The model was highly appreciated, and its relevance, usability, and validity were considered quite good for the assessment of nursing students' clinical competence at the final stage of their education. Several deficiencies were revealed, which led to further development of the model.The development and first evaluation of the model proved encouraging for further use, but it needs further evaluation. Involvement of nursing managers is necessary in order to satisfy new demands on competence and staffing of clinical nurses.