Journal of Nursing Education

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Major Articles 

Instruction in Mastery Goal Orientation: Developing Problem Solving and Persistence for Clinical Settings

Elaine A. Gardner, PhD, RN, CNE

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Individuals with a mastery orientation are more motivated to persist and increase their competence. Although studies have demonstrated the usefulness of explicitly teaching mastery goal orientation, no interventions have been used in nursing education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether mastery goal orientation could be rapidly acquired by nursing students via a short-term educational intervention. Nursing students from five programs participated in a 3-week intervention. Participants were matched by demographic profile and pretest goal orientation scores before being randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Goal orientation was measured before and after the intervention.

Students in the experimental group increased their mastery orientation significantly, while reducing their performance orientation somewhat. They persisted to solve problems, while students in the control group gave up more easily when faced with a difficult task. Early development of mastery goal orientation that promotes problem solving and persistence for clinical settings can be a powerful adjunct to undergraduate nursing education.

AUTHOR

Received: September 15, 2004

Accepted: April 1, 2005

Dr. Gardner is Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.

The author would like to acknowledge Virginia A. Johnson, EdD, CRC; Linda A. Deloney, EdD; and Anna S. Moses, MEd, for their assistance in preparing the manuscript for publication.

Address correspondence to Elaine A. Gardner, PhD, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham Street, #529, Little Rock, AR 72205; e-mail: egardner@uams.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Individuals with a mastery orientation are more motivated to persist and increase their competence. Although studies have demonstrated the usefulness of explicitly teaching mastery goal orientation, no interventions have been used in nursing education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether mastery goal orientation could be rapidly acquired by nursing students via a short-term educational intervention. Nursing students from five programs participated in a 3-week intervention. Participants were matched by demographic profile and pretest goal orientation scores before being randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Goal orientation was measured before and after the intervention.

Students in the experimental group increased their mastery orientation significantly, while reducing their performance orientation somewhat. They persisted to solve problems, while students in the control group gave up more easily when faced with a difficult task. Early development of mastery goal orientation that promotes problem solving and persistence for clinical settings can be a powerful adjunct to undergraduate nursing education.

AUTHOR

Received: September 15, 2004

Accepted: April 1, 2005

Dr. Gardner is Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.

The author would like to acknowledge Virginia A. Johnson, EdD, CRC; Linda A. Deloney, EdD; and Anna S. Moses, MEd, for their assistance in preparing the manuscript for publication.

Address correspondence to Elaine A. Gardner, PhD, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham Street, #529, Little Rock, AR 72205; e-mail: egardner@uams.edu.

ABSTRACT

Individuals with a mastery orientation are more motivated to persist and increase their competence. Although studies have demonstrated the usefulness of explicitly teaching mastery goal orientation, no interventions have been used in nursing education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether mastery goal orientation could be rapidly acquired by nursing students via a short-term educational intervention. Nursing students from five programs participated in a 3-week intervention. Participants were matched by demographic profile and pretest goal orientation scores before being randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Goal orientation was measured before and after the intervention.

Students in the experimental group increased their mastery orientation significantly, while reducing their performance orientation somewhat. They persisted to solve problems, while students in the control group gave up more easily when faced with a difficult task. Early development of mastery goal orientation that promotes problem solving and persistence for clinical settings can be a powerful adjunct to undergraduate nursing education.

AUTHOR

Received: September 15, 2004

Accepted: April 1, 2005

Dr. Gardner is Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.

The author would like to acknowledge Virginia A. Johnson, EdD, CRC; Linda A. Deloney, EdD; and Anna S. Moses, MEd, for their assistance in preparing the manuscript for publication.

Address correspondence to Elaine A. Gardner, PhD, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham Street, #529, Little Rock, AR 72205; e-mail: egardner@uams.edu.

10.3928/01484834-20060901-03

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