Date of Conferral
Leslie C. Hussey
Clinical self-efficacy, or the confidence that nursing students have in their ability to successfully perform nursing clinical skills, is imperative for the safe and effective practice of nursing. A gap in knowledge exists about the change in clinical self-efficacy as baccalaureate nursing (BSN) students move through a nursing program, in which they learn and practice clinical skills in laboratory and clinical settings. Guided by Bandura's social cognitive theory, the purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the relationship between clinical experience within a nursing program and the reported clinical self-efficacy of BSN students in the sophomore, junior, and senior years. One hundred ten BSN students (29 sophomores, 39 juniors, and 42 seniors) were recruited from 2 universities in the Central United States to answer the Clinical Skills Self-Efficacy Scale survey, which assessed 9 clinical nursing skills. Data were analyzed using a one-way MANOVA, which revealed statistical significance. Post hoc analysis using the Tukey HSD indicated statistically significant differences between sophomore- and junior-level students on intramuscular and insulin injections, intravenous therapy start, intravenous piggyback administration, and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube feeding. Noting this relationship, nurse educators can evaluate clinical curriculum to ensure that instructional methods and opportunities to practice clinical skills are sufficient to foster the development of clinical self-efficacy. Preparing nurses with higher self-efficacy promotes positive social change because a more confident nurse with higher self-efficacy provides a higher quality of care. Future research should focus on conducting a longitudinal study to note the progression of self-efficacy in students as they progress through the nursing curriculum.