Ashley Wheeler, Belmont University
There is no statistically significant difference in reported preparedness among new graduates prepared by different curricula, however, clinical learning experiences highly impact readiness to practice.
Concept-based curriculum (CBC) is a newer trend in nursing education curriculum aimed at preparing new graduates to enter the workforce as generalist nurses better suited to care for an aging population. To better understand preparedness of new graduate nurses, students graduating from both traditional curriculum and CBC designs were asked about their perception of preparedness in five specific areas during their first three months of clinical practice. The results of the explanatory mixed-methods survey showed no statistically significant difference in perception of preparedness between the two groups. The outcomes of each individual curricula were not dramatically different, but the actionable data reinforces the importance of clinical learning.
Curriculum, Nursing, Preparedness
1. Describe goals of implementing concept-base curriculum in nursing education.
2. Describe importance of new graduate self-efficacy and preparedness upon entry to practice.
3. Discuss importance of structured hands-on learning.
Hear it from the author:
Concept-based curriculum is a newer trend in nursing education aimed at preparing new graduates to enter the workforce as generalist nurses better suited to care for an aging population. In a concept-based curriculum, students are introduced to concepts in order to build conceptual understandings as they engage in knowledge and skill learning, as opposed to a traditional nursing curriculum that is taught in sections grouped by patient population and medical complexity. In an undergraduate school of nursing, the traditional nursing curriculum was replaced with a concept-based curriculum in 2016. To better understand preparedness of new graduate nurses, we surveyed students graduating from both traditional curriculum and concept-based curriculum designs, asking about their perception of preparedness in five specific areas during their first three months of clinical practice. To help guide our evaluation, the goals of concept-based curriculum were considered in addition to input from facilities, preceptors, and nurse educators. The results of the explanatory mixed-methods survey, which consists of Likert scale responses and qualitative data, demonstrated no statistically significant difference in the preparedness of new graduates when comparing the traditional curriculum to the concept-based curriculum. Respondents identified key areas that impacted successful transition to practice such as experiential learning and repetition. This information may help us to understand gaps in education and provide potentially actionable data to improve undergraduate nursing education.
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