Using Peer Mentors in the Clinical Setting to Reduce Anxiety in the First Semester Clinical Nursing Student


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Peer mentoring or peer assisted learning is widely used in the educational setting. Research suggests it is a powerful educational tool with multiple positive outcomes for students. However, there is little research regarding peer mentoring in the clinical setting. The clinical setting, an important aspect of nurses’ educational experiences, can be anxiety producing. Research demonstrates increased student anxiety decreases a student’s ability to learn. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine if anxiety levels of nursing students participating in peer mentoring during their first clinical practicum experience less anxiety than nursing students who participate in traditional clinical experiences. This pilot study utilized a quasi-experimental research design. Anxiety was measured using the Standardized State Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) and the Clinical Experiences Anxiety Form (CEAF). Data regarding student’s perceptions of the clinical environment during this experience was gathered through the Student Evaluation of Clinical Education Environment (SECEE). Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Mann Whitney U, Wilcoxon Rank Tests, and correlations. Resulting data is the first step in a research trajectory expected to demonstrate peer assisted learning as an innovative clinical learning model.



Nursing education, peer mentoring, practicum, clinical education