Essay about Variables Affecting Nursing Students’ Competency Scores

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Variables Affecting Nursing Students’ Competency Scores
When an undergraduate nursing student goes in to take a competency test, their performance can be affected by multiple factors. The student could be influenced by how they chose to prepare for the exam, how they were feeling at the time of the test, or even their lifestyle (Cherry & Jacob, 2002). Anxiety that is displayed by a student while testing could be explained as a lack of understanding of the skill needed to be performed, but this may be a false accusation because of the anxiety the student is feeling (Pfeil, 2003). In addition, the way that nursing students may have used their materials to prepare for skills testing also could have an effect their final scoring. Therefore, students should utilize materials, such as simulators, to assist in their training for an individual skill (Issenberg, Obeso, & Scalese, 2007).
Students do realize that their study habits may impact their grades; however, most undergraduate students still do not utilize their textbooks (Berry, Cook, Hill, & Stevens, 2011). Though some nursing students may utilize all of their study materials provided to them they may still score lower on their competency testing due to their lifestyle or anxiety. Statistically, nursing students are shown to have significantly higher test anxiety in comparison to the general population of high school and undergraduate students (Driscoll, Evans, Ramsey, & Wheeler, 2009). However, with different people come different learning needs, though, nursing students will be assisted in the classroom as well in the clinical setting or skills lab through the use of technology and lab modules which have proved to benefit nursing students and lower their anxiety (Edwa...

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...line, 8(2), 1-20. Retrieved 29 Feb 2012 from
Pfeil, M. (2003). Assessing the clinical skills performance of nursing students. Journal of Child Health Care, 7(3), 191-206. doi:10.1177/13674935030073005
Scalese, R.J., Obese, V.T., & Issenberg, S.B. (2007). Simulation technology for skills training and competency assessment in medical education. Innovations in Education,46-49. doi: 10.1007/s11606-007-0283-4
Sullivan-Mann, J., Perron, C.A., & Fellner, A.N. (2009). The effects of simulation on nursing students’ critical thinking scores: A quantitative study. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews,9(2), 111-115. doi: 10.1053/j.nainr.2009.03.006
The INASCL Board of Directors. (2011). Standards of best practice: Simulation. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 7(4s), s3-s19. doi:10.1016/j.ecns.2011.05.011

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