Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Allison Terry


Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in the United States, and a primary educational objective is to develop professional competency among nurses to ensure the provision of safe and effective care to the cardiac patient. Benner's theory of novice-to-expert led to the development of an evidence-based scenario for the care of the patient with chest pain using risk-free high-fidelity simulation environments that focused on assessment, history taking, and communication, while evaluating improvements in the competency of nurses providing care to chest pain patients. Thirty-six nurses volunteered in the study. Feedback from nurse educators, which led to modifications to the scenario, preceptor evaluation of participants during simulation, and post simulation feedback of participants, were analyzed using an inductive and exploratory theme analysis. Participants reported they learned meaningful information but felt somewhat confused regarding the correct course of action when multiple events occurred simultaneously. Preceptors' feedback identified participant failure to meet stated scenario expectations. Quantitative analysis of data, using one sample t test, compared the pre- and post-test scores measuring participant knowledge on assessment, history taking, and communication. Although knowledge scores increased, the difference was not clinically significant based on the negative feedback from both preceptor and participants. Accurate appraisal of nurses' competency in assessment, history-taking, and communication skills is needed prior to exposure to simulation. Simulation scenarios may be more clinically significant when tailored to an individual participant's competency levels.

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