An objective structured long examination record (OSLER) is a modification of the long-case clinical examination and is mainly used in medical education. This study aims to obtain nursing students' views of the OSLER compared with the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which is used to assess discrete clinical skills. A sample of third-year undergraduate nursing students (n=21) volunteered to participate from a cohort of 230 students. Participants undertook the OSLER under examination conditions. Pre-and post-test questionnaires gathered the students' views on the assessments and these were analysed from a mainly qualitative perspective. Teachers' and simulated patient views were also used for data triangulation. The findings indicate that the OSLER ensures more holistic assessment of a student's clinical skills and particularly essential skills such as communication, and that the OSLER, together with the OSCE, should be used to supplement the assessment of clinical competence in nursing education.