Does Playing the Role or Wearing Clinical Attire Improve Self-efficacy in Culturally Diverse Nursing Students?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

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


In light of the recent IOM Report and Patricia Benner’s study: A Call for Radical Transformation, we, as nurse educators, need to identify the barriers to a baccalaureate degree in nursing for culturally diverse students and create academic environments that will promote their achievement of obtaining a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

Recent media spotlight on the RN shortage has highlighted nursing as a lucrative and secure field, providing practice opportunities beyond traditional roles. Government analysis data projects an explosion of new nursing positions through 2020. This fact makes the profession of nursing one of the nation’s top professions in terms of projected job growth. Therefore; if the healthcare needs of society, now and in the future are to be met then improving recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of the culturally diverse baccalaureate nursing students is critical.

The purpose of this presentation is to inform the attendees of the significance that self-efficacy plays in the success of culturally diverse baccalaureate nursing students in their first clinical course and again at the end of their coursework. Self-efficacy is a necessary criterion for achieving student success, developing critical thinking and reasoning skills. Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situation; suggesting that self-efficacy plays a critical role in how we think, feel, and behave.


The results of this exploratory research determined that faculty and schools need to explore and identify exemplars for academic practices; such as, developing peer-mentor support services: study groups and writing support services that would improve not only the self-efficacy of this student population but would ensure their future success as licensed professional nurses. Additionally, this research assisted in identifying exemplars for clinical practice settings that were not considered “traditional” settings; such as, community centers and rent-assisted apartment houses.


All of these solutions can provide diverse nursing students with clinical knowledge and a learning environment conductive to growth and the development of critical thinking and reasoning, ensuring a future of culturally diverse and sensitive Professional nurses for our changing global populations and society.

Colleges continue to study admission criteria in order to fine tune their selection processes and enhance the guidance of our culturally diverse BSN students towards academic success. The time has come for faculty and colleges not to focus on only admission criteria but on identifying criteria that will ensure this success throughout the academic progression timeline: entry, midpoint, and exit points.

There is a fair amount of literature regarding self-efficacy in senior nursing students and patient education with most of the focus on patient self-efficacy and registered nurses and many are older publications. Of the limited available studies, most explore self-efficacy in an academic, rather than a clinical context. Few exploratory studies of this nature have been done in this population of students, considering how fast nursing school admissions have risen in the past five years. This research would add to the literature, providing a springboard for additional inquires.


This study may provide the needed socialization to the professional role of nursing for those students with low self-efficacy perceptions and our culturally diverse student population.

In addition, the results of this study would be of great interest to the field of nursing education and may be considered for publication in one of the following noteworthy healthcare professional journals: Nursing Education, Nursing Research, Nurse Educator, and Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.

The target population for this presentation is nurse researchers, educators, clinicians, college administrators, clinical practice partners and future employers of our diverse BSN graduates.