In most advanced practice programs, preceptors are relied on for providing student clinical experiences. Preceptor feedback often indicates that many students show competency deficits in well child care, case presentation, and clinical skills.
An innovative preclinical experience was developed using nonscripted pediatric patient and family volunteers from the local community. During the three 4-hour experiences, students obtained a health history, performed a full physical examination, and presented their findings using a standardized case presentation format. Student anxiety and levels of confidence were assessed before and after each experience.
Student anxiety decreased, and self-confidence and clinical skill competencies improved. Students who participated in the experiences with faculty demonstrated improved entry-level competencies, compared with previous cohorts who had not received the intervention.
Preclinical experiences using pediatric patients improved advanced practice nursing student confidence and competencies and reduced anxiety, improving overall entry-level clinical performance. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(9):552–555.]
Dr. Reyes is Pediatric MSN Specialty Coordinator and Clinical Assistant Professor, Dr. Close is Assistant Research Professor, Dr. Rodriguez is Assistant Professor, and Dr. Evans is Family/Emergency MSN Specialty Coordinator and Clinical Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
This pilot project was funded by a $3000 Fund for Innovative Teaching (FIT) grant from Emory University to support the cost of the real-life standardized patients in the form of gift cards. The authors thank the children and families who participated in this project.
Address correspondence to Imelda Reyes, DNP, MPH, RN, APRN-BC, Pediatric MSN Specialty Coordinator and Clinical Assistant Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Road, Suite 432, Atlanta, GA 30322; e-mail:
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Received: March 03, 2017
Accepted: April 06, 2017