Evaluating Best Practices for Second-Degree Nursing Students Using an Innovative Study Design

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:00 AM

Cheryl L. Schriner, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
School of Nursing, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe three specific best practice teaching strategies to support optimal student outcomes.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe two technological methodologies that can be used to create an innnovative study design for future research.

Purpose: Second-degree nursing programs are the fastest growing entry-level nursing programs in the United States and offer the quickest route to becoming a Registered Nurse with progression into advanced leadership roles (AACN, 2010). This descriptive multi-site study will illuminate best practice teaching strategies and faculty characteristics supporting optimal student outcomes. Additionally, this research will provide information to enhance the methodology of future studies using an innovative study design.

Methods: In January, 2013, 25 faculty teaching in second-degree nursing programs (BSN, MSN, CNL), demonstrating optimal student outcomes, will be invited to participate in a three-day online discussion forum using Itracks advanced technology. Itracks, a web-integrated data collection system, facilitates online discussion groups using bulletin board software demonstrating proven success in academic and healthcare settings (Itracks, 2012). Study participants can join the online discussion groups using a variety of electronic methods, including PCs, tablets and smart phones. Participants are also able to upload videos, documents, and instructional materials to demonstrate teaching strategies that are specific to developing leadership skills.

Results: Descriptive statistics will be produced for the quantitative data. The qualitative data, generated from the online discussion forums, will be coded for thematic analysis using the advanced Itracks technology. This research project was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of the PI’s university in November, 2012. Data analysis will be completed in April, 2013, with dissemination of results beginning May, 2013.

Conclusion: This research will present an evaluation of best teaching practices for second degree pre-licensure students and will provide critical information that can be used to enhance the design and methodology for future studies, using advanced technology for research design and data analysis. This study was supported by a Sigma Theta Tau Zeta Theta Chapter research grant.