Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathleen McKee


Self-Efficacy and Select Characteristics in Nurses Who Respond to a Pediatric Emergency


Nancy McNeill

MA, New York University, 1996

BS, New York University, 1987

Doctoral Project Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Education

Walden University

June 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 and their knowledge of pediatric emergency care, as well as their years of clinical experience, nursing education, pediatric life support certification, specialty certification, and caring for pediatric patients. In addition, 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, as well as Zimmerman's self-regulated learning theory. A quantitative correlational design was used with a convenience sample of 37 nurses. Self-efficacy was measured with the General Self-Efficacy Scale and knowledge was quantified using a 32-item researcher-developed instrument. The data were analyzed using multiple regression analysis and correlations. Results showed that none of the variables predicted self-efficacy; however, years of nursing education, pediatric life support certification, and 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 direct positive social change by informing future nursing education and training efforts in order to improve the medical outcomes of pediatric patients.