Objectives: This study examined the effect of an integrated pediatric nursing simulation used in a nursing practicum on students' CT abilities and identified the effects of differing numbers of simulation exposures on CT in a multi-site environment.
Design: The study used a multi-site, pre-test, post-test design.
Participants and settings:A total of 237 nursing students at three universities enrolled in a pediatric practicum participated in this study from February to December 2013.
Methods: All three schools used the same simulation courseware, including the same simulation scenarios, evaluation tools, and simulation equipment. The courseware incorporated high-fidelity simulators and standardized pateints. Students at school A completed one simulation session, whereas students at school B and C completed two and three simulation sessions, respectively. Yoon's Critical Thinking Disposition tool(2008) was used to measure students' CT abilities.
Results: The gains in students' CT scores varied according to their numbers of exposures to the simulation courseware. With a single exposure, there were no statistically significant gains in CT, whereas three exposures to the courseware produced significant gains in CT. In seven subcategories of critical thinking, three exposures to the simulation courseware produced CT gains in the prudence and intellectual eagerness subcategories, and the overall simulation experience produced CT gains in the prudence, systematicity, healthy skepticism, and intellectual eagerness subcategories.
Conclusions: Simulation course ware may produce positive learning outcomes for prudence in nursing education. In addition, the findings from the multi-site comparative study may contribute to greater understanding of how patient simulation experiences impact students' CT abilities.
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