Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Wendy Edson

Abstract

Simulation training has been implemented at a small nursing school in the eastern United States to improve the currently low content exam scores in nursing courses. With the guidance of Kolb's experiential learning theory, differences in 8 course content exam scores were investigated for students who received simulation training in the content area before the exam and students who received simulation training after the exam, using a quasi-experimental, comparative design. Archival exam scores from 424 content exams, 212 completed by students who received simulation training before the exam and 212 completed by students who received simulation training after the exam, were used in a multivariate analysis of variance. The difference of the group means was not statistically significant (p = .69) for the pediatric assessment, meningitis, respiratory deviations, and gastrointestinal nursing content exams. However, there was a significant difference, F (4, 47) = 5.192, p = .00; λ = .694; η2 = .316, for the postpartum and neonatal assessment, preeclampsia, and cardiovascular nursing content exams. The results are split, which may be due to inconsistency in the conduct of simulation training across the 8 content areas. The varied outcomes led to the development of a white paper with policy and implementation recommendations for simulation training. Positive social change may occur in the planning of simulation training to promote consistency and best practices, enhancing students' ability to perform safely and competently at the patient's bedside and thus supporting improved patient outcomes.