Quality Enhancement Plan: Interprofessional Educational Program to Improve Nursing Students' Self-Efficacy in Scholarly Written Communication
Repository Posting Date2016-09-16T14:26:04Z
Author DetailsLinda C. Tibbits, RN; Lela Hobby-Burns, RN, APHN-BC; Jeanette Lee Plodek, RN; Rustian C. Phelps, BA
Lead Author Sigma AffliationUpsilon Kappa
Session presented on Monday, September 19, 2016: Introduction: Effective communication is essential in business and academia for professional success. RN-BSN students struggle with scholarly composition as a result of limited formal writing opportunities during their prior studies. A collaborative interprofessional education effort is described to improve students' professional writing skills. Methods: After assessing observational qualitative data from Nursing, English and Writing Lab faculty, two (2) online, 7-week, asynchronous, 1-credit hour courses were developed and implemented. Both courses are instructed by English or Writing Lab faculty. To promote content alignment Nursing faculty are"guest instructors" in the course. The first course is co-requisite with the introductory course in an online RN to BSN program. The second writing course is co-requisite with the EBP Research Essentials course. Using nursing content, writing activities provide nursing students with learning opportunities for practicing grammar mechanics, writing skills, and organizing scholarly summaries. Specifically, students receive an overview of professional and technical writing principles that focus on identified skills necessary for success in the academic and professional environments. The students develop their skills through multiple writing assignments, and constructing a professional portfolio of documents deemed essential. These documents include emails, letters, literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, and scholarly papers. Other assignments such as the annotated bibliography, curriculum vita, and portfolio creation and management are specifically designed toward the nursing educational and professional expectations. Using a quasi-experimental, pre-post survey design, the Post Secondary Writing Self-Efficacy Instrument (PSWSES) is used to assess students' belief in their ability to meet the writing objectives. Successful course completion is another outcome measured. Upon program completion, graduates will also complete the Professional Role Confidence survey provided by the University Quality Enhancement Plan office. Results: Preliminary results indicate students are satisfying course objectives and successfully completing both courses. Student qualitative comments are overwhelmingly positive, with participants reporting that they learned valuable skills, information, and increased confidence in completing scholarly writing assignments. Faculty report a decreased need to spend time on correcting grammar, APA format, and style and an opportunity to spend more time on content evaluation and feedback. Discussion: The interprofessional instruction in these two writing courses is key. English composition faculty provides purely grammatical feedback on students' writing practice. This division of faculty instruction focuses on word usage, paragraph organization and APA writing mechanics, all within the background of nursing context. The co-requisite practice prepares students for the concurrent Nursing course activities. Pilot course offerings were initiated during the 2016 Spring and Summer terms. The English and Writing Lab faculty continue to work closely with Nursing Department faculty to update the new courses based on student and faculty feedback. Conclusion: These foundational writing activities help students' express scholarly language, and promote critical thinking abilities. Linking the writing workshop course assignments to selected existing nursing course assignments allows for the utilization of profession-specific academic assignments while providing a theoretical foundation of communication skills and specific feedback to enhance development and proficiency of the students' critical writing, learning, and thinking skills. Supporting and promoting self-efficacy and competence in professional writing creates nursing students who can be successful writers (Miller, et.al., 2014).