For example, if one case study is presented per week in the curriculum, this could be "dosed up" by presenting two or three case studies per week to the classes in the intervention group. This could have the desired effect of increasing the expected effect size.
Attrition rates must be accounted for when determining sample size. If there was a 30% attrition rate, the determined sample size would remain realistic, since 88 nursing schools is still a considerable number of schools to work with as long as the numbers of schools that do and do not use case studies in the study are relatively equal.
Collecting a sample of this size would not take a large amount of time. The recruitment process would involve identifying BSN and ADN programs who are HESI clients and either do or do not use standardized case studies. Enough programs would have to be identified that fall into each group for the study. No agencies would be required for the collection of this sample. The information and means necessary for recruitment for this study are available directly to the researcher through various accessible resources, and the researcher is able to self-sufficiently recruit for the study through personalized direct contact with nursing schools.
The timeframe required for this study would be the duration of the nursing curriculum, which is 5 semesters or 20 months. A sample inclusion criterion would be schools of nursing that were clients of HESI, inc. A sample exclusion criterion would be schools that were not clients of HESI, inc. These criteria would be used to ensure that the intervention under investigation (the use of HESI standardized case studies) is the treatment being measured.
1). Demographic data
Demographic data will be collected on all schools involved in the study. This data will include details such as the breakdown of students according to age, sex, educational background, etc.
2) HESI exam
The measurement tool that will be used to measure the proportion of passing grades within schools that do or do not use case studies as part of their curricula is the HESI exit exam. This instrument will be chosen because it is a widely used, standardized test that all nursing students at schools that are HESI clients must complete in order to pursue careers within the field of nursing. Also, the presence of case studies in the curricula may affect the scores on the HESI exam, influencing the proportion of passing and failing grades within each school.
It is hypothesized that the presence of case studies within the curricula will result in schools adhering to this type of curricula exhibiting a larger proportion of passing grades in comparison to schools that do not utilize case studies in their curricula. The HESI exit exam comprehensively assesses the knowledge attained by students in these nursing schools, and it is therefore an appropriate measure of the dependent variable and will be useful for the study.
The operational definition of the HESI exit exam is compatible with the conceptual definition of the variable. The dependent variable (proportion of passing grades) may be conceptually defined as an indication of how effective the presence of case studies in the nursing school curricula is at improving nursing students' comprehension and retaining of knowledge acquired from curricula. The HESI exam is compatible with this conceptual definition because it is designed to assess the particular knowledge that nursing students are exposed to and expected to retain from instruction and curricula.
The high validity of the HESI as an instrument is evidenced in a study conducted by Nibert, Young, and Adamson (2006). These researchers established that the HESI exit exam was a valid instrument due to the fact that analyses of the data collected using this instrument supported the hypotheses and inferences made by the researchers.
The samples used in the Nibert et al. (2006) study is similar to the sample that the current study will use to the extent that the individuals taking the HESI exit exam are all nursing students. The studies are different in the respect that the sample in the Nibert et al. study is composed of registered nursing students and practical nursing students, and the sample in the current study is composed of registered nursing schools that are clients of HESI.
The use of the HESI exit exam as an instrument in the current study is practical due to the fact that its administration is a requirement that would take place whether or not this research study takes place. The HESI exit exam is the most viable instrument available for this study. The HESI exit exam is a standardized test administered to nursing students to assess their comprehension of knowledge and concepts associated with the theory and practice of nursing. Studying the effects that curricula that contain case studies have on the proportion of passing grades of nursing students in HESI schools necessitates the use of the HESI exit exam as an instrument.
Data Collection Procedures
Data for this study will be collected through the gathering of HESI examination pass and fail rates from RN program nursing schools. These nursing schools will submit their proportion of passing grades to us via email, fax or mail. This data will be compiled in a database and statistical analyses to calculate Pearson's R. correlation will be executed. This statistical analysis will reveal the relationship between instruction with case studies and subsequent achievement on the HESI exit examination.
The procedure for data collection will be as follows:
The research sample will be identified. Schools that use case studies and schools that do not use case studies will be included in the study.
The specific curriculum utilized by each school in the study will be obtained and analyzed to ensure that the sample is appropriately categorized in "case study" and "non-case study" groups.
After completion of HESI exit examinations, the resulting data will be collected from all schools. The proportion of passing grades will be calculated for each school, and then schools will be compared according to these proportions.
Pearson's R. correlation coefficient will be calculated, and it is hypothesized that there will be a significant positive correlation between the use of case studies and a higher proportion of passing HESI exit exam grades.
Nibert, a.T., Young, a., Adamson, C. (2006). Predicting NCLEX success with the HESI exit exam: fourth annual validity study. Nurse Education, May-June (supplement), 38S-34S.
Habib, F., Eshra, D.K., Weaver, J., Newcomer, W. (1999). Problem-based learning: a new approach for nursing…