Clinical Competence of Nursing Students in Senior Preceptorship

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kimberly Kim, PhD, RN
Nursing and Health Science, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

Learning Objective 1: describe the clinical competence and confidence of culturally diverse nursing students enrolled in senior preceptorship courses in baccalaureate nursing programs.

Learning Objective 2: examine the perceived levels of clinical competency skills and confidence of senior nursing students related to the preceptorship experience.

Purpose: To describe the clinical competence of 130 culturally diverse nursing students enrolled in senior preceptorship and examine the relationships between levels of clinical competency skills and confidence of students.

Methods: A descriptive correlational study assessed six core competency skills: Patient-centered care, teamwork, evidence-based practice, safety, quality improvement, and informatics, utilizing the QSEN guidelines. Data were collected using three questionnaires: QSEN survey, Preceptorship Experience Questionnaire and Graduate Nurse Survey at the last semester.

Results: Preliminary data indicate that 52% of participants have accomplished various clinical skills through demonstration; 42% were on a stage of developing specific skills; and 5% were beginning to gain competence in skills. The majority of participants strongly agreed that they work effectively with all members of the healthcare team to assure that comprehensive care is delivered to the patients. Setting clear learning objectives and clarifying the role were significantly related to feeling competent completing the work (r = .40); identifying specific learning needs for patients and family members were significantly related to the competence assessing patients’ healthcare needs (r = .68), identifying the patients’ cultural needs in giving care (r = .74); implementing patient and family teaching (r = .78), communicating effectively with team members (r = .47), documenting relevant information (r = .51), teaching patient safety (r = .59); confident communicating with physicians (r = .54) at the significant p of .001. The majority of participants reported that the code-blue emergency response, ventilator handling, and chest-tube care were the three major procedures that they were uncomfortable performing independently. They also reported experiencing difficulty with orientation issues, fear of patient safety, and role expectations.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that nursing students have accomplished or are developing the majority of core competency skills; however, they feel uncomfortable demonstrating advanced medical procedures necessary for the wellness of the patient.