Improving the New Graduate and Undergraduate Student Nurses' Critical Thinking Ability Through the Use of Simulation in Nursing: A Systematic Review of Literature
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Background: Implementing what is learned in the classroom into clinical practice is an important aspect of nursing. According to Koontz, Mallory, Burns, and Chapman (2010) the clinical environment is one of the most valuable experiences for the student nurse. Learning is an active and reflective process and simulation allows for the practice of procedures as often as needed to gain confidence and proficiency (Guise, Chambers, & Valimaki, 2012).
Method: The project was a systematic review of literature that examined quantitative research studies that utilized a pretest and posttest study design to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation regarding critical thinking skills in the undergraduate student nurse and the new graduate nurse.
Results: The systematic review of literature yielded 760 research studies. Fifteen of the 760 research studies met inclusion criteria and were included in the final statistical analysis process. Cohen’s D was calculated using the pretest and posttest scores along with the standard deviation. The results of Cohen’s D indicated that 4 of the 5 studies showed the experimental group had a moderate effect size over the control group.
Conclusion: The analysis of the available quantitative research studies revealed simulation training to be an effective means of improving critical thinking skills among new graduate nurses and student nurses. Each study showed improvement in knowledge level. Compared to the control group the experimental group showed the same level of improvement or an increased level of improvement of up to 4% in critical thinking skills with the use of simulation training.
Keywords: new graduate, student nurse, critical thinking, simulation, and nursing education
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