Impact of exemplar education program on the professional commitment of nursing students: A quasi-experimental study

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Nurse Education Today


Background: High attrition rate and nursing workforce shortage have been a prevailing world challenge. Professional commitment is a known key factor for attracting and retaining the nursing workforce. Objective: To design, implement and evaluate the impact of a one-week structured education program, underpinned by the exemplar education strategy, on the professional commitment of undergraduate nursing students. Design: A quasi-experimental study was designed with pre- and post-intervention measurements. The intervention was a structured, four module education program underpinned by the exemplar education strategy. Setting: Department of Nursing, Qianjiang College, Hangzhou Normal University, Zhejiang, China. Participants: 152 third-year nursing students who attended the education program and consented to participate were enrolled in the research. Methods: The intervention, the education program, was delivered over 16 h in one week of an 18-week semester. It was sequenced in four modules: expert lectures (3 h each), visiting a hospital (3 h), alumni salon (3 h), and submitting a reflection report (4 h). Professional commitment was measured by the Nursing Professional Commitment Scale (NPCS) administered both pre- and post-intervention. Results: The total professional commitment measurement score was significantly improved after the intervention. There were statistically significant differences before and after intervention in the four dimensions of professional commitment, namely, belief in goals and values, willingness to make an effort, desire to stay in the profession, and intrinsic positive value of work. Conclusion: The one-week professional education program underpinned by the exemplar education strategy effectively improved the level of professional commitment of the undergraduate nursing students. The program can be transferred into the curriculum to improve nursing students' professional commitment. The methodology can be applied in other aspects of nursing professional development.

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