Improving performance amongst nursing students through the discovery of discrepancies during simulation

John Unsworth*, Andrew Melling, Chris Tuffnell, Jaden Allan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Discrepancy creation is a form of self-regulated learning which can be used to improve individual performance. Discrepancy can be created as a result of comparison against an occupational standard or when an individual strives to achieve higher personal goals. This study explores the process of discrepancy discovery and reduction following simulation sessions. Second year under-graduate nursing students undertook three simulation sessions over a one year period. After each session the participants completed a series of visual analogue scales to rate their own performance and the perceived performance of peers, final year student and a newly registered nurse. Once discrepancy had been identified, participants were asked to produce a short written action plan on how the discrepancy could be addressed and to work on this action plan between sessions. A total of 70 students completed discrepancy scores for all three scenarios. The most common areas of discrepancy were understanding physiology, understanding medicines and pharmacology, patient assessment and handover (hand off). Wilcoxon Signed Ranks suggested a statistically significant difference between student scores in all areas with the exception of team-work. All of the participants used peers as their comparator when identifying discrepancy. There was also a statistically significant difference in the scores following each simulation session suggesting improved performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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