Improving Student Learning Outcomes by Utilizing an End-of-Life Nursing Simulation Scenario

Saturday, 7 November 2015

School of Nursing, Murray State University, Murray, KY, USA

Purpose of Capstone Project: To determine whether participation in a newly developed End of Life Nursing Simulation Scenario significantly improves student learning outcomes for providing palliative nursing care.

Clinical Question: In students who are completing an Associate Degree Nursing Program, how does providing education through an End of Life Nursing Simulation Scenario compared to two clock hours of theory education increase knowledge and competency in providing care to patients who are dying?

Significance to Nursing Profession: A nursing student must gain the knowledge and competency level that is vital in providing palliative care measures for patients who are near death, yet faculty are faced with limited allocation of theory hours and clinical focus to assist in student success. By participating in an innovative End of Life Nursing Simulation Scenario, students may achieve learning outcomes by demonstrating increased knowledge and understanding of how to provide quality palliative nursing care to his or her patient population.

Statistical Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre-test, post-test design was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of the simulation scenario. While building upon the knowledge gained through two theory hours of lecture on end of life care, each student voluntarily participated in a two hour clinical simulation held in a college nursing lab located in western Kentucky. All students completed a post-survey evaluation of the teaching strategy.

Study Results: The quantitative study results indicated significantly higher post-test scores when compared to the pre-test (p = 0.0001982). The qualitative findings from the post-survey showed all students strongly agreed or agreed that the End of Life Nursing Simulation Scenario was effective. The conceptual framework, intervention objectives, effects of the intervention, and study methods are reported. According to the test comparison, survey results, and participant comments, the innovative teaching approach of utilizing an End of Life Nursing Simulation Scenario to improve learning outcomes was beneficial and valid in achieving the student’s success in learning how to provide quality nursing care to a dying patient.