Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wendy Edson


Although the number of nursing programs has increased in Florida, the number of hospital sites available for clinical experiences have not, resulting in limited clinical time for each nursing program. To address this shortage of clinical time, local colleges are increasing the use of simulations in the curriculum. Guided by andragogy, this sequential mixed methods study was conducted to explore differences in students' perceptions of satisfaction, self-confidence, and critical thinking between two groups of students with different amounts of clinical simulation. In an associate degree nursing program, 34 nursing students completed a single survey on student perceptions of satisfaction and self-confidence, 12 students completed a critical thinking test, 37 student reflection papers were reviewed, and 4 faculty members were interviewed. Independent t tests were used in analyzing quantitative data, and content analysis was used in the analysis of qualitative data. Statistical analysis and content analysis showed no difference between the groups of students for satisfaction, self-confidence, and critical thinking. However, results should be interpreted with caution because quantitative analyses were underpowered, increasing the risk of type II error. Overall, students had positive comments about simulations in regard to satisfaction, self-confidence, and critical thinking. The results of this study will allow nursing faculty in the local setting to make better decisions with regard to using additional simulation in their programs. The results may benefit nursing students and the patients they care for in their future nursing careers in providing quality healthcare.