Peer Mentoring During Hospital Practicum to Reduce Anxiety in the First Semester Clinical Nursing Student
Repository Posting Date2016-03-29T13:10:33Z
Author(s)Walker, Danielle Katherine
Author DetailsDanielle Katherine Walker, RN, CNE
Lead Author Sigma AffliationNon-member
Other Title(s)Clinical Skills Assessment [Session]
Session presented on Saturday, April 9, 2016: The clinical setting, an important aspect of nurses' educational experiences, can be anxiety producing. Literature supports that while anxiety in small quantities is a desirable experience in learning, too high a level of stress can decrease learning (Audet, 1995; Blainey, 1980; Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). It is widely accepted that clinical education is anxiety producing for nursing students and first time nursing students experience even more severe anxiety in the clinical setting (Audet, 1995; Kleehammer et al., 1990). Decreasing students anxiety related to first time clinical experiences may improve students' ability to learn and integrate important fundamental nursing skills taught in foundational clinical practicums. Peer mentoring has been used frequently in higher education to facilitate learning and has been identified as a means of decreasing student anxiety related to learning (Colvin & Ashman, 2010; Topping, 2005). However, there is little research regarding peer mentoring in the clinical setting. Nursing research suggests that peer mentoring in other settings can decrease anxiety, make a significant contribution to nursing students' learning, and increase self-confidence, clinical judgment, time management, priority setting, and nursing students' perceptions of the learning environment (Giordana & Wedin, 2010; Harmer, Huffman, & Johnson, 2011; Li et al., 2011; Sprengel & Job, 2004). Although peer mentoring has been established as an effective model in other nursing education settings and described as an effective model for decreasing anxiety in the clinical setting; no research on peer mentoring in the clinical setting has moved beyond descriptive and case evaluations to provide an evidence base for implementation. A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test nonequivalent groups designed research study was undertaken to determine if nursing students participating in peer mentoring during their first clinical practicum experience less anxiety and increases satisfaction with the learning experience than nursing students who participate in traditional clinical experiences. Anxiety was measured using the Standardized State Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) and the Clinical Experiences Anxiety Form (CEAF). The STAI measured generalized anxiety while the CAEF was a nursing specific anxiety tool developed by Kleehammer, Hart, and Keck (1990). Data regarding student's perceptions of the clinical environment during this experience was gathered through the Student Evaluation of Clinical Education Environment (SECEE). Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Mann Whitney U, and correlations. The results from the study indicate a significant decrease in nursing specific anxiety among students who participated in peer mentoring in the clinical setting. Students who participated in the peer mentoring intervention also perceived more satisfaction with their instructor/mentor than students in traditional clinical experiences. The resulting data demonstrates peer assisted learning is an effective and innovative clinical learning pedagogy. This session will discuss the study design, intervention, and results as well as lessons learned to provide a template for utilizing peer mentoring in the clinical setting.