The Effects of a Writing Workshop on Perceived Writing Self-Efficacy of Undergraduate Nursing Students

Monday, 30 October 2017: 2:45 PM

Terry M. Delaney, DNP
Deparatment of Nursing, Lubbock Christian University, Lubbock, TX, USA
Cindy Ford, PhD, MSN, BSN
Department of Nursing, Lubbock Christian University, Lubbock, TX, USA

Introduction:  There is a growing concern within nursing education regarding the writing skills
of nursing students. The expectation is students will enter a program with the necessary skills to
produce quality written assignments. However, current trends reveal many students enter
nursing programs with limited writing experiences (Latham & Ahern, 2013). Nurse educators
report students lack skills in basic sentence structure and grammar, the ability to find credible
literature to support content included in writing assignments (Latham & Ahern, 2013), and the
ability to utilize American Psychological Association’s (APA) guidelines to format writing
assignments (Troxler, Vann, & Oermann, 2011).

Writing self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in their ability to write. A decrease in writing self-efficacy has been linked to a decrease in writing performance (Martinez, Kock, & Cass, 2011). Because of the correlation between self-efficacy and performance, nursing education needs to
address the issue of writing self-efficacy among students. The purpose of the study was to
examine the impact of a professional writing workshop on the perceived writing self-efficacy
scores in students enrolled in a RN/BSN university program.

Significance: Nursing education has been called to prepare students to successfully achieve
outcomes preparing them to practice in a complex healthcare system by ensuring nurses engage
in lifelong learning, lead in collaborative efforts with other members of the healthcare team, and
be change leaders for the advancement of health (Institute of Medicine, 2010). According to
Stevens et al. (2014), formal writing skills allow nurses to be more participative in discussion
regarding evidence based practice. Bickes & Schim (2010) explain the ability to clearly
communicate complex ideas through writing is an essential skill for all nurses in professional
practice. Because perceived writing self-efficacy may directly affect writing motivation and
performance, teaching strategies focusing on student self-efficacy may help to improve student
success and enhance nursing engagement within the professional role.

Method/Results: A quasi-experimental single group Pre-test/Post-test study was conducted to
examine the impact of a professional writing workshop on perceived writing self-efficacy scores
in students (N=22) enrolled in a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science (RN/BSN) university
program. The Post Secondary Writerly Self-Efficacy Scale (PSWSES) was utilized to measure
perceived self-efficacy before and after the workshop. A paired sample t-test was conducted to
evaluate the impact of the workshop. Results of the test indicated there was a statistically
significant increase (p<.000) in PSWSES scores after completion of the workshop. The results of
this study provide insights into the benefits of an educational intervention, specific to
professional writing skills, for nursing education.