Coaching Students to Success: An Innovative Approach to Clinical Education

Monday, 18 November 2013: 3:55 PM

Ruth Ann Bridges, PhD, RN-BC
School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX

Learning Objective 1: 1.Define the coach model of clinical education for accelerated second degree baccalaureate students.

Learning Objective 2: 2.Describe transition experiences of graduates of an accelerated second degree baccalaureate program who experienced the coach model of clinical education.

The increasing complexity of providing nursing care in today’s hospital environment creates urgency for new graduate nurses who are able to begin patient care at Benner’s (1984) advanced beginner level. The advanced beginner level is characterized by the ability to make decisions based on the context of the situation and not just the rules (Benner, 1984). The ability of nurses to make clinical judgments is important in the survival of hospital patients (Aiken, Clarke, Cheung, Sloane, & Silber, 2003). The call for innovations in nursing education requires evidence of the best methods to provide graduate nurses who are ready to assume the professional role (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010).

The purpose of the study was to describe the lived experience of new baccalaureate graduates of a second degree online baccalaureate program whose education included the coach model of clinical education as they transition from the student to the graduate role. The coach model involves pairing a student nurse in the second degree program with an experienced baccalaureate prepared registered nurse, the coach, for all medical-surgical clinical experiences. Students work the coach’s shifts and hours, rather than hours set by traditional nursing clinical education experiences.

Interviews of graduates of the second degree web-based accelerated baccalaureate program were conducted to explore the experience of transition into the professional role after having a coach for clinical education. Qualitative data provide insight into experience with the coach model. The clinical coach model is a successful innovative method for clinical nursing education.