Due to today's complex needs of hospitalized patients, nurses' competence and strategies to improve competence are of growing importance. Simulation is commonly used to influence competence, but little evidence exists for comparing how presimulation assignments influence competence. A randomized control trial was used to compare the efficacy of three simulation preparation methods (expert modeling/intervention, voice-over PowerPoint/ active control, and reading assignments/passive control) on improving competence for providing care to multiple patients among senior undergraduate novice nurses. Competence was measured at two time points (baseline and following a 5-week intervention) by two blinded raters using the Creighton Simulation Evaluation Instrument. Twenty novice nurses participated in the trial. No significant differences were noted in raw improvements in competence among the three groups, but the expert modeling (Cohen's d = 0.413) and voice-over PowerPoint methods (Cohen's d = 0.226) resulted in greater improvements in competence, compared with the passive control.
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