Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Changes in Anxiety Levels in Mature Nursing Students with Peer Dyad Use During the Clinical Experience
by Burmeister, Gail, D.N.P., Brandman University, 2016, 57; 10242499
Abstract (Summary)

Aim & Objective: The aim of this project is to review the background literature and discuss the PICOt question as follows: In adult nursing students, age 30+, who are experiencing anxiety in the clinical setting, does peer dyad mentoring support in the clinical setting enable these students to decrease their anxiety level and pass their clinical effectively over a 90 day period of time?

Background: Clinical experience is an integral part of nursing education and prepares students nurses to integrate knowing with doing. Anxiety can cause a disruption in the learning and professional functioning of the student, and subsequently of the graduate nurse. Further to this, many non-traditional mature nursing students are adults entering the college or university setting with life experience unrelated to their new nursing career. They are attempting to balance work, home and school responsibilities. This anxiety has a variety of causes and also appears to have a variety of solutions.

Design: This project is a mixed method analysis, which contains both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Participants in the project were a convenience sample of Nursing students age 30+, in the BSN program at California State University Sacramento, willing to partake in this intervention, to assist in reducing their anxiety level during clinical. The project engages the use of true peer dyads (students at the same level of education) for the purpose of collaborative learning in the clinical setting. All subjects were given pre- and post-tests consisting of the State form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults™ (STAI-AD) is the definitive instrument for measuring anxiety in adults. The participants also completed a written qualitative interview guide at the end of the semester.

Results: The mean score of the STAI Anxiety Scale shows a definite decrease in anxiety after the peer dyad intervention in clinical. Of interest is the fact that the trait anxiety level also decreased in the final measurement. All sixteen mature students completed the peer dyad experience. The overall quantitative response to the peer dyad experience in clinical was a positive one according to the mature students involved.

Conclusions: Nursing students, are stressed and anxious in both the clinical setting (State anxiety) and appear to be more anxious in general (Trait anxiety). Formalized peer learning can decrease anxiety, help students learn effectively and is an important addition to the repertoire of learning activities that can enhance the quality of nursing education. Meeting the present and future challenges of educating nurses will require innovative models of clinical instruction, such as collaborative learning using student peer dyads.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Milstein, Ruth
Commitee: Hanish, Tyke, Shine, Patric
School: Brandman University
Department: Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Education, Nursing
Keywords: Anxiety, Clinical education, Collaborative learning, Mature nursing students, Peer dyads
Publication Number: 10242499
ISBN: 978-1-369-36590-0
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