Background: Practising skills to competency level in a simulated clinical environment is thought to prepare nursing students for the real world setting. The ability to prioritise and plan nursing care is also essential for effective work performance. There is, however, limited evidence to support that simulated learning improves preparation for clinical practice.
Aim: To examine the effectiveness of a time management intervention using simulation to improve nursing students’ preparedness for medication administration in a clinical setting.
Methods: Quasi-experimental, pre-post-test design with a non-equivalent comparison group. Participants were second year university nursing students (n = 180 total, n = 92 intervention, n = 88 comparison group). Time management activities were integrated into a low fidelity simulated environment. A self-administered validated questionnaire measured student nurse perception of preparedness for medication administration in a clinical setting.
Findings: While there was no significant difference for overall perceived preparedness for medication administration, the intervention group showed significantly improved perceived ability to clarify unclear instructions (p = 0.019), monitor patients’ conditions post medication administration (p = 0.032) and assess medication effectiveness (p = 0.034).
Discussion and conclusion: A time management intervention using simulation can effectively enhance students’ preparedness for, and confidence in, medication administration in a clinical setting. Adequate theoretical pharmacology knowledge is crucial in preparing nursing students for medication administration in the clinical setting.