Dress for Success: Increasing Self-Efficacy Baccalaureate Nursing Students

Monday, 9 November 2015

Mary Elizabeth Fortier, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CNL
Department of Nursing, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ, USA

My research focused on the impact, if any, on novice nursing students’ perception of their self-efficacy when the intervention of requiring professional attire is utilized in their first clinical course? Novice nursing students’ are faced with many challenges when beginning a baccalaureate program. The challenges include time management, academically thought-provoking coursework, and learning a new skill-set for patient assessment. The purpose of this exploratory interventional study was to measure novice baccalaureate nursing students’ self-efficacy perceptions in their first clinical experience. “Does self-efficacy increase if given professional attire therefore increasing the students’ perception of their roles as nursing students and in turn their self-efficacy?”  A sample size of 8 for the experimental group and n=8 for the control group is realistic for this proposed intervention; consequently a pilot study format was utilized. A quasi-experimental research design is anticipated.  Demographics were obtained at the beginning of the study.  The General Self-Efficacy Scale was administered to both the control group and the experiemental group at the beginning and the conclusion of the pilot study.   Data was evaluated using the SPSS statistical package.

Self-Efficacy is defined as: a personal judgment or belief concerning one’s ability to successfully perform a particular task or behavior (Bandura, 1986).  It has been theorized that self-efficacy may influence the likelihood of success.  The significance of this interventional research study that evaluated the advantage of requiring novice nursing students to dress in professional attire and the effect this intervention had on their self-efficacy perception.  The investigator anticipated and found that when given professional attire, a lab coat, the novice nursing student demonstrated a significant improvement in their self-efficacy perception. 

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.