Developing clinical skill competency of undergraduate nursing students utilising a simulated psychomotor skill laboratory and model of self-directed learning : an evaluation research study : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Nursing at Massey University
Nursing education today emphasises higher-level thought processes than in the past. The requirement for Bachelor of Nursing students to also demonstrate competence in the core clinical skills is critical for safe professional practice. Balancing curricular emphases on technical knowledge, clinical and interpersonal skills, ethical decision-making, and other critical thinking skills is becoming increasingly difficult for nurse educators. Changes in the health sector have resulted in increased complexity of care, reduced numbers of venues for clinical practicum experiences, and increased financial costs associated with student practicum. The commitment to ensure that students have requisite clinical skills appropriate to each stage of their programme, prior to their clinical practicum involves curricular, pedagogical and financial considerations. Drawing on international literature and a Faculty committed to the development of nursing knowledge and skill, discovery, reflection and self-directed learning, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) implemented the use of the Clinical Arts and Technology Centre and a cooperative model of self-directed learning into the Bachelor of Nursing curriculum in January 2000. The Clinical Arts and Technology Centre is an "enhanced" clinical simulation laboratory that provides students with the facilities and resources to support and enhance their knowledge and skills in preparation for clinical practicum. This Evaluation Research study explores and determines the effectiveness of the Clinical Arts and Technology Centre and the cooperative model of self-directed learning in terms of student clinical competency outcomes, and student satisfaction with the facility and model of self-directed learning. An extensive review of literature was undertaken in relation to the development and use of clinical simulation laboratories, clinical simulation, and models of self-directed learning in nursing education. A combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used including a pre piloted research questionnaire and a collation of student competency assessment outcomes. One hundred and fifty-six EIT Bachelor of Nursing students participated in the study. Statistical research findings and themes that emerged demonstrated a high level of overall student satisfaction with the facility resources and model of learning and provide direction for future facility and resource development, and ongoing quality improvement initiatives.