Title

The Effect of the Developing Nurses' Thinking Model on Clinical Judgment in Nursing Students

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

Cindy Miller

Abstract

Critical thinking and clinical judgment are essential competencies for professional nursing practice. These abilities are used continually, enabling nurses to provide safe nursing care to increasingly complex patients in a variety of healthcare settings. The challenge that faces baccalaureate nursing programs as they prepare nursing students to function competently upon graduation, is how best to facilitate the development of these skills in our students. The purpose of this capstone project was to test the effect of the middle range theory of the Developing Nurses' Thinking (DNT) Model on clinical judgment in nursing students. Tanner's Clinical Judgment Model formed the conceptual framework for this project. An experimental, pretest/posttest study was conducted using a convenience sample of 44 senior students at one southeastern baccalaureate nursing program. Two clinical groups received the intervention in post conferences, while three groups served as the control group. Student clinical judgment was measured in high fidelity patient simulation, using the Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric. Paired t-tests evaluated the differences between clinical judgment scores and an independent t-test was utilized to evaluate the difference between groups. Both groups showed statistically significant improvements on the posttest, but there was no statistically significant difference between groups. Therefore, the findings of this study did not support the use of the DNT Model to facilitate the development of clinical judgment in nursing students. However, small sample size and inadequate exposure to the intervention were likely contributors to these outcomes.

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