Performance differences between novice and experienced critical care nurses: A replication study

Josefina Inoturan Alejandro, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

This capstone project is a replication study that measures the performance differences between novice and experienced nurses working in an adult intensive care unit (ICU) and identifies the deliberate practice activities they employ to achieve expert performance. In order to assess performance difference between the two groups of participants, nurses were required to manage the physiological crisis of patients with respiratory compromise through four simulated scenarios. This study replicated a portion of Whyte, Ward, and Eccles' (2009) research on the relationship between knowledge and clinical performance of novice and experienced critical care nurses. The replication study used the Mann-Whitney U test to determine statistically significant differences between the novice and experienced ICU nurses. The Spearman rho correlation determined the relationship between the participants' clinical performance and their deliberate practice activities. The results indicated no statistically significant performance differences between the novice and experienced ICU nurses. The deliberate practice of seeking information through reading had a strong negative and statistically significant correlation with the performance of experienced nurses ( r s [3] = -.949, p < .05). However, attending seminars had a strong positive and statistically significant correlation with performance among experienced nurses ( r s [3] = .975, p < .01). The results indicated the importance of deliberate practice activities in striving for expert performance.