Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Extern Programs Promote Confidence and Reduce Anxiety With Clinical Decision Making in Nursing Students

White, Krista A., PhD, RN, CCRN-K, CNE; Fetter, Mary E., MSN, RN; Ruth-Sahd, Lisa A., DEd, RN, CCRN, CEN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000625
Nurse Educator: PDF Only

Background Clinical decision making (CDM), expected of professional nurses, affects patient outcomes but is arduous for nursing students to learn. Psychological barriers (low self-confidence [SC] and high anxiety with CDM) have an impact on its achievement. Externship programs help mitigate these barriers.

Purpose The aim was to examine the impact of summer employment (nurse extern [NE], nursing assistant, and non–health care employed) on students' confidence and anxiety with CDM.

Methods The study used a quasi-experimental before-and-after design using the Nursing Anxiety and Self-Confidence with Clinical Decision Making scale. Associate and baccalaureate degree students (N = 134) from 2 nursing and 2 extern programs were included.

Results The NEs reported significantly increased SC (F = 14.02, P < .001) and reduced anxiety (F = 8.64, P < .001). Nonsignificant improvements were noted in other groups.

Conclusions Externships appear to enhance students' SC and lessen their anxiety with CDM.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr White), Department of Advanced Nursing Practice, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Instructor (Ms Fetter), Department of Nursing, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, Lancaster; and Professor (Dr Ruth-Sahd), Department of Nursing, York College of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania.

Partial financial support was provided by the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Academic Scholarship & Research Committee.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr White, Georgetown University, School of Nursing & Health Studies, 3700 Reservoir Rd, NW, Washington, DC 20057 (krista.white@georgetown.edu).

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (www.nurseeducatoronline.com).

Accepted for publication: October 1, 2018

Published ahead of print: November 8, 2018

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved