Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016



Nurses at a suburban northeastern U.S. community hospital reported that they felt unprepared to effectively respond to a pediatric emergency. Empirical data were not available to identify if this local problem was due to a lack of the nurses’ self-confidence or if other factors were involved. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were relationships between nurses’ self-efficacy in pediatric emergencies as measured by the General Self-Efficacy Scale and their knowledge of pediatric emergency care as measured by a 32-item ad hoc instrument, as well as their years of clinical experience, nursing education, pediatric life support certification, specialty certification, and caring for pediatric patients. The research questions guided the investigation to determine if any of the variables could predict nurses’ self-efficacy in pediatric emergencies. The theoretical framework was based on Bandura’s social learning theory, which incorporates the concept of self-efficacy. A quantitative correlational design was used with a convenience sample of 37 nurses. The data were analyzed using multiple regression analysis and correlations to determine the relationships among the variables. Results showed none of the variables predicted self-efficacy; however, years of nursing education, years of pediatric life support certification, and years of clinical experience were all significantly related to knowledge. Based on the results, a 3-day educational program was developed to address pediatric emergency practice. The results of this study can provide positive social change through a better understanding of nurses’ self-efficacy regarding emergency care of pediatric patients in the community hospital. This will inform future nursing education and training efforts, and positively impact the outcomes of pediatric patients.