Searching For Evidence To Improve Nursing Outcomes

All articles that I access, for any purpose, are evidence-based, peer reviewed literature. I usually obtain literature from the university library, but I have used CINAHL previously. I used the Chamberlain University Library for this assignment, which took me to ProQuest. Both articles I accessed were published in nursing literature related to my topic of concern.

The problem I identified just yesterday was that out of 58 students in my Pharmacology class, 6 of these students evidently had issues with how to use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association [APA] (use of quotation marks, citations, and references [also, using WebMD and WebEx] and they don’t know how to properly develop the reference list). I don’t think there was intentional plagiarism by a few students, but I looked for articles on how to help students with this kind of work. Again, for this literature search I utilized the Chamberlain Library and clicked on the “search articles” header, and from their I went straight to ProQuest Nursing. From there, I used the advanced search putting in key words: nursing students and APA, followed by checking the Peer Review box. Although I found 479 results, there is a dearth in more current literature that specifically addresses APA formatting in writing (McGuire, Gerber, Elgsti, & Currin, 2001), where the 4th edition of the APA manual was used as a reference. When I narrowed the date of publication down to 2010 to 2019, I found 279 results that were all over the map (279 results), and I found few that were focused on APA usage by nursing students.

I was able to locate one current article that was published in Nursing Open by authors at two Canadian schools of nursing. The authors identified the purpose: “To explore self-efficacy among first-year nursing students in the context of disciple-specific writing” (Mitchell, Harrington & McMillan, 2017, p. 240). The design was identified as a quasi-experimental study, and the methods used were data collection before and after a writing course was completed by nursing students during orientation (Mitchell et al.). The researchers described participants as 132 Baccalaureate nursing students that were spilt into 3 groups: full study participants that received the course and were tested pre- and post-course; experiment only group that did not receive the course but had both the pre- and post-test; and, a control group that had a pre- and post-test within a specific timeframe. The study was noted to have ethical (IRB) approval, and the authors also described the course with sources identified and these, in my opinion, seemed sound based on the topics and were taken from credible literature including the Journal of Nursing Education, Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, Nurse Education in Practice, Quality Advancement in Nursing Education, and others. The authors reviewed and discussed relevant literature review in the article as well. The authors used citations, references, and tables to substantiate the findings of the study. Study limitations were clearly identified as well as suggestions for further research.

The Self-Efficacy Scale for Academic Writing (SESAW) was created by Mitchell using a 4-point Likert Scale for 10 questions in the test. They also used the STAI (State Trait of Anxiety Inventory) tool by Spielberger (as cited by Mitchell et al.). A “One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)” (Mitchell, et al., p. 243) was used by the authors for statistical significance. Pearson’s r calculations were used for statistical analysis as well as independent t tests. Results of the study findings are indicated by Mitchell et al., are as follows:

1. An improvement in APA usage and grammar over time

2. Correlations between anxiety trait and SESAW identified

3. Students that entered nursing school directly from high school did not do as well as others who had more academic experience

4. English as Second Language students showed no difference in performance

In the final conclusions, Mitchell et al., noted that the study indicates: “discipline-specific

writing instruction can influence writing self-efficacy in first year nursing students.” (p. 249).

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