Experience and Education.
Nurses in acute care settings have isolated two key factors as found to having a direct impact on confidence levels. These factors that have been credited for directly impacting self confidence levels are the years of experience and levels of education within nursing ( Chan & Matter, 2013 ; Cashin, Stasa, Dunn, Pont, & Buckley, 2014; Cockerham, Figueroa-Altmann, Eyster, Ross, & Salamy, 2011; Yang & Thompson, 2010). Specifically, acute care nurses have isolated hands on training as a factor that improves their confidence levels (Dowson, Russ, Sevdalis, Cooper,& De Munter 2013; Mitchell, 2015). In a recent study published in the British Journal of Nursing by Dowson et al. (2013), a population of acute care nurses was utilized with the goal of studying whether or not simulation lab training increased confidence levels. A clinical confidence rating scale was utilized where nurses rated themselves on a 1-4 scale, where one was “completely lacking confidence” and four was “very confident”. In this study, it was found that the control group’s confidence levels remained the same over the four month span of the study, and the intervention group who received the sim-lab training reportedly increased in confidence after the study (Dowson et al., 2013).
In another recent study by Chan et al. (2013), a population of Registered Nurses working in acute care settings was utilized to test the relationship between years of experience, confidence levels, and accuracy in utilizing the Glascow Coma Scale. In this study, participants were asked a series of questions that collectively tested their accuracy in usage of the Glascow Coma Scale. Alongside this, participants were asked...
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...erham et al. 2011; Fackler et al., 2015).
Implications to Nursing Practice
Nurse educators play a vital role in shaping the nurses within their staff. It is the responsibility of the nurse educator to provide the proper education, to provide affirmation and validation, as well as creating an environment that is safe where all staff feels comfortable asking questions (Cockerham et al., 2011). Furthermore, in providing affirmation and education, nurse educators hold the delicate balance of ensuring the nurses in their staff are confident, yet that the confidence is well-deserved, is backed by a plethora of knowledge, and that the nurses are consistently reminded that over-confidence and carelessness yields poor patient outcomes. This can allow for confident nurses to work in a safe environment where they feel powerful, and where self actualization can be achieved.
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