Practical Nursing Analysis and Summary of Student Results

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Outcome 1:  Effectively communicate by sharing accurate information through various technologies thus promoting multidisciplinary team and client collaboration to provide effective nursing care.

Project A:  Assessment data was collected by Sharon Arnold of the Vincennes Campus. Due to the late change in the assessment plan during Fall semester, Jasper faculty were not able to collect data of this semester.  Their course ended before the change in plans were made, therefore data was not available.  Sharon Arnold is no longer a faculty member.  Betty Ryan and Freda Neal analyzed the Vincennes Campus results.

Vincennes Campus: The success standard stated 80% of the students will score a 75% or higher on these questions on the final exam.  Actual results: 69% of the students scored a 75% or higher.  Success standard not met. 

  • Student population = 19
  • Total possible score = 5
  • Mean score = 3.9 
  • Mode score = 4 
  • Mode = 4

Vincennes Campus Strengths and Weaknesses:
Strengths: Most of the students demonstrated basic knowledge of therapeutic communication. Most knew common terms and they demonstrated knowledge of communication principles. The percentage of students who answered the four knowledge level questions correctly ranged from 80% to 91.4%.
Weaknesses:  The students had difficulty applying communication principles and also discriminating correct communication styles.   When the PN students were given application level questions about therapeutic communication, most were unable to apply the information to answer the question correctly. The students were given one question that was a “select all that apply” option. This question had a stem and then there were five options to choose. Students are told before they take an exam that when they have a “choose all that apply” question, they should look at each option as a separate true or false question.  If each option is true to the situation, then it should be chosen; if it is not true, do not choose this option. Only 42% of students correctly identified the correct answers for this more difficult question.  Of the 35 students that took the exam, 19 students incorrectly chose option “A,” which was not a correct option. The option was clearly incorrect and the students chose an incorrect option. The test question was a good question; the students did not either read the material or did not understand that option "A” was not correct therapeutic communication.   The analysis would be stronger if Sharon Arnold, who taught the course and gave the exam, would have been available to discuss the teaching methodology findings with Betty and Freda.  The validity of the exam question was able to be analyzed based on the exam results statistics, and the level of difficulty of the questions were able to be determined by a simple review.

Project B:  Assessment data was collected both at the Jasper and Vincennes Campus.

Vincennes Campus:  19 students (57.5% of class) scored 66% or higher on ATI Mental Health, 2008, Form B, Therapeutic Communication Subscale.  The success standard of 70% of students will score a 66% or higher on this subscale of questions was not met.

  • Student population = 33
  • Mean score = 64%
  • Median score = 67%
  • Mode score = 50%
  • Range of scores 16.7%-100%
  • 6 questions on this subscale

Jasper Campus:  13 students out of 19 (68%) scored a 66% or higher.  The success standard of 70 % of students will score a 66% or higher on this subscale of questions was not met. 

  • Student population = 19
  • Mean score = 68%
  • Median score = 67%
  • Mode score = 67%
  • Range of scores = 33.33%-100%

Strengths:  While the ATI exam results do not provide a national mean for this particular subscale of questions, it does state that the national mean for the entire test is 65.4%.  The VU-V ASN students scored a mean for the entire test of 72%, which is well above the national mean.   VU-J ASN students also scored a mean of 72%.

The students did not meet the benchmark on this particular section of this PN Mental Health ATI exam; however, the report from the actual NCLEX-PN Vincennes Campus results showed that within the Psycho-social Cultural Function category, in which Therapeutic Communication is found, the class as a whole scored at the fifty-sixth percentile compared to state results and fifty-seventh percentile compared to national results.  The faculty would like to see the percentile be higher, but is better than predicted.  The report from the NCLEX-PN Jasper Campus will not be available until May 1, 2012.  Analysis for Jasper Campus will be made at that time.

Students are given a detailed remediation plan based on their individual ATI results following the test, therefore the students are given the opportunity to better prepare for the NCLEX-PN.

Weaknesses:  The assessment in this activity is given at the end of the program and tests a concept that is taught throughout all Nursing courses.  This particular test provides only general results for analysis, so it is difficult to pinpoint specific weaknesses of the students’ understanding. Combined with the evidence above in Project A, it appears that the Therapeutic Communication is an area that needs improvement.  The entire PN Nursing faculty needs to consider means of increasing the instructional effectiveness of teaching this concept.

Outcome 2:  Provide health education for clients under the direction of a registered nurse to promote adaptation to health changes and achieve optimal levels of wellness.

Project A:  Assessment data was collected by Sharon Arnold of the Vincennes Campus. Ann Boeglin collected the data for the Jasper Campus. Sharon Arnold is no longer a faculty member.  Betty Ryan and Freda Neal analyzed the Vincennes Campus results. 

Vincennes Campus: 69% (24/35) of the students achieved greater than 75% on the test.  The success standard of 80% of the students achieving 75% was not met.

Strengths:  Most of the students in the PN Program at VU have not taken the Speech or Interpersonal Communication class.  This “content section” of the Fundamentals of Nursing class may be the first time that some students are introduced into communication skills and principles.  Twenty-four students out of 35 scored 100% on the Health Education questions on the final exam.  This did not meet the bench mark because ten students out of 35 missed one item of the three questions about Health Education.  One student had only one correct answer out of three questions.  When looking at the mean, median, and mode for the data, it appears that the students did well.  
Weaknesses: The test questions for the Health Education part of the final exam were written at the knowledge level.  This is the most basic level of testing, and this type of question will not be on the NCLEX-PN exam that a student takes to show that the student can begin nursing practice as an entry-level Practical Nurse.  It is appropriate at this time in the educational process of the Practical Nursing student to have some knowledge-level questions, but they need to master these questions before they can graduate to higher level questions.

Jasper Campus: Success standard: 80% of the students will score a 75% or higher on the Health Education questions on the final exam.  Actual results: 95% of the students scored a 75% or higher.  Success standard was met. 

  • Student population = 19
  • Total points possible = 4
  • Mean score = 3.9
  • Median score = 4
  • Mode score = 4

Strengths:  Students’ results met the benchmark. Information on the level of difficulty of the questions is unavailable at this time; therefore complete analysis is not possible. 

Project B:  Vincennes campus students do not take this course until after mid-term.  Sister Kate Willegal collected the data.  Betty Ryan, Freda Neal and Sister Kate Willegal analyzed the data.

Jasper campus:  20 students completed the assessment by the time (mid-term, Spring 2012) this report was completed.  100% of the students achieved 80% or higher on the assignment.  This met the standard of success of 80% achieving 80% or higher.

Strengths: The principles of health education were introduced during the Fall 2011 semester.   These principles were appropriate for adults age 21-64.  The principles were then reinforced to the students in the Spring 2012 semester and adapted to the geriatric client needs.  The students were given the opportunity to apply these principles by creating an educational poster for the older adult client.
Weaknesses:  The assessment of the students’ ability to provide health education to their patients/ clients should include verbal as well as a written presentation.   By assessing the students’ presentation skills, a more comprehensive assessment of student ability would be possible.