Improving Advanced Illness Discussion in Nurse Practitioner Students
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Problem Under Investigation: Breaking bad news and discussing advanced illnesses is expected of advance practice nurses (APNs). VitalTalk is a proven educational intervention to help providers in breaking bad news. There is currently limited research on educating nurse practitioner students in breaking bad news. Objective: The purpose of this capstone project is to determine whether an online educational lecture based off VitalTalk: Delivering Serious News has an effect on nurse practitioner students’ perception of their ability to break bad news. Theoretical Framework: Self-Efficacy Theory was used as a framework for this project. Project Design and Methods: Students enrolled in the family and adult BS-DNP nurse practitioner program were invited to participate in this project. A one group pretest/posttest design with a 21-question Likert scale was used to evaluate student self-efficacy in breaking bad news. An approximately one-hour voiceover PowerPoint adapted from VitalTalk was used as the educational intervention. Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics including age, years experience and type of experience as an RN was calculated to describe the sample characteristics. Paired t-tests and Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used for data analysis. Results: The overwhelming majority of the outcomes tested had statistically significant improvements after the intervention. Those that were not statistically significant still had clinically significant improvement. Participants rated the intervention highly. Potential Significance and Implications: This intervention has the potential to improve advanced illness discussion in nurse practitioner students. A larger study involving more participants with the addition of simulation or standardized patients may have additional benefits.