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A comparison of degree and diploma nursing students confidence of patient safety competency in Ontario, Canada

20 Mar 2017

In Ontario, Canada, Registered Nurses and Practical Nurses practice autonomously and safely in the healthcare system. Students who are aiming to become a Registered Nurse are enrolled in a four-year university baccalaureate degree program while students pursuing a practical nursing diploma are registered in a two or three-year college program. Exploring differences in confidence levels could provide insight into whether one type of nursing educational program is assisting students to develop higher confidence levels on patient safety topics. The Health Professional Education in Patient Survey was used for data collection in this research study. In total, 206 practical nursing students and 458 degree nursing students participated in this study from four different academic settings in Ontario, Canada. Overall, students in both types of educational programs expressed similar levels of confidence on the seven patient safety subscales.  Practical nursing students feel errors are viewed as individual mistakes and they fear repercussions when they make a mistake more so than degree students. Although the categories of students receive different education in terms of length of program, setting, and depth of content, students within either type of program appear to develop confidence levels that are similar for the most part.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Nursing Education and Practice