Increasing Nursing Students' Knowledge and Clinical Judgment in Medication Administration

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Leona A. Konieczny, DNP, MPH, RN-BC
Division of Nursing, Capital Community College, Hartford, CT

Learning Objective 1: describe the use of high fidelity simulation as a method to facilitate students' connections between theory pharmacology course and a course with clinical application.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the effect of high fidelity simulation on increasing nursing students' knowledge and clinical judgment related to medication administration.

Significance:  The increased use of prescription medication results in the need for increased pharmacologic nursing education. Increased knowledge and use of clinical judgment in medication administration can lead to improved patient outcomes and improved methodology for teaching pharmacologic nursing to students. 

Purpose:  To assess the effect of high fidelity simulation on nursing students’ knowledge and clinical judgment in medication administration

Methods:  126 nursing students at the beginning of the senior year were randomly assigned to two groups.  65 students participated in a laboratory on campus involving low fidelity simulation and 61 students participated in high fidelity simulation.  The students participated in three scenarios requiring medication administration.  Each group was given the same pre-tests and post-tests.  Students were evaluated on clinical judgment using the Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric.

Results:  The pre-test scores mean was the same for both groups at 5.00.  The post-test mean for the high fidelity simulation was 8.15.  The post-test mean for the low fidelity simulation was 7.02.  Chi square showed Recognizing Deviations (p = 0.35) and Self-Analysis (p = 0.32).  13.1%  in the high fidelity group were exemplary in all areas as compared to 4.6% in the low fidelity group.

Conclusions:  Knowledge was increased in the high fidelity group.  Selected areas of clinical judgment were positively affected by the use of high fidelity simulation.  ANOVA was used and age, gender, race, and employment did not account for differences between the groups.  

Recommendations:  Continued use of the simulation laboratory.  The Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric may be used with to the clinical evaluation tool.  High fidelity simulation may be used to ensure that critical information is provided to offset the variability in clinical sites.  Written reflection may be used after simulation.  High fidelity simulation may be used as an added benefit for the high performing or honors students.