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McNeill, Jeanette

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Nursing students require a competent nurse educator to support and evaluate their performance in order to learn and grow. Frequently, nurses who enter into educator roles are not prepared to support and evaluate nursing students. An important competency for nurse educators is the ability to give effective formative feedback in a supportive learning environment. Nurse educators who are not prepared for the teaching role might negatively impact the educational experience and preparation of nursing students. Simulation could be an effective method for developing evidence-based teaching competencies in nurse educators but there is limited evidence about this topic in the literature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation learning in the development of clinical teaching competencies in clinical nurse educators transitioning from the role of nurse clinician to nurse educator. The study intervention was a simulation learning experience for clinical nurse educators to learn effective formative feedback techniques. Theoretical frameworks guiding the research study included Meleis’ (2010) transitions theory and the National League for Nursing (NLN) Jeffries simulation theory (Jeffries, Rodgers, & Adamson, 2015). Transitions theory addresses the situational transition when a nurse clinician takes on the new role of nurse educator. Simulation iv theory provides structure and background for the concepts included in developing a simulation learning experience. Twenty nurses who worked with prelicensure nursing students were invited to participate. An online survey with demographic questions and the Clinical Nurse Educator Self Evaluation (CNESE) developed by the principal investigator—based on the Nurse Educator Self Evaluation tool with permission from the author and NLN—were completed before the simulation workshops. The simulation workshops focused on developing knowledge and skills to provide effective formative feedback to nursing students in clinical education. At the end of the workshop, participants repeated the CNESE and completed the Simulation Design Scale (NLN, 2018). A trained rater completed the Feedback Assessment for Clinical Education (FACE©) tool (Onello, Rudolf, & Simon, 2015b) during each simulation workshop scenario. The median and mean scores of the CNESE increased from pretest to posttest but the increase was not statistically significant. No significant differences were found in the means of pretest and posttest results on the CNESE between active and observer participants in the live simulation or between participants’ level of education in nursing. No significant differences were found in the means of pretest and posttest results on the CNESE between participants with less than three terms of experience and participants with four or more terms of experience. The design features for the simulation were rated positively by participants on the Simulation Design Scale (NLN, 2018) and there were no findings that indicated changes to the simulation design. The FACE tool (Onello et al., 2015b) ratings of active participants in simulation scenarios revealed the highest mean for the element Provokes an engaging conversation. The element with the lowest mean rating was Establishes an engaging learning environment. Despite a lack of statistical significance in the modified CNESE results, the participants in all five workshops indicated it was a good learning experience in group discussions. The CNEs of all levels of experience and clinical backgrounds were introduced to the NLN clinical nurse educator competencies and participated actively in their own skill development to provide effective formative feedback to students. Participants were introduced to the feedback conversation elements from the FACE tool (Onello et al., 2015b) and given opportunities to practice and receive feedback from their peers. This study contributed to nursing education research by describing the development of clinical nurse educators using simulation and theoretical frameworks that provided a basis for further studies. Simulation learning provides an experiential opportunity for educators to explore their own practice receiving feedback from peers. By focusing on the published and validated competencies from the National League for Nursing, educators could develop simulation learning workshops that develop knowledge and skills for clinical nurse educators. Key words: Clinical Nurse Educator, Formative Feedback, Simulation learning, Role Transition, Simulation Design


129 pages

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