Study of the Basic Knowledge Level of Critical Care Nurses
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This retrospective data analysis was completed to determine if there is a relationship between the nurse's level of basic critical care nursing knowledge and the following variables: basic educational preparation, critical care nursing experience, cumulative nursing experience, specific critical care unit experience, and certification in critical care nursing. A convenience sampling technique was used at one midwestern hospital. The sample was comprised of 111 subjects who had completed the BKAT, a 100 question tool by Toth utilized to assess basic critical care knowledge. The sample was categorized by basic educational preparation, specific critical care unit, CCRN status, and years of nursing experience. Results indicated that nurses with more critical care experience had significantly higher BKAT scores than nurses with less critical care experience. Nurses with CCRN certification had significantly higher BKAT scores than nurses without certification. Nurses with more cumulative nursing experience also had significantly higher BKAT scores than nurses with less experience. When comparing basic educational preparation, nurses with a BSN had significantly higher BKAT scores when compared to nurses with a diploma or associate degree. However, when comparing each basic educational group separately, there was not a significant difference between the three educational groups. When comparing BKAT scores by specific critical care unit, a significant difference between the ICU and CSICU BKAT scores was found.
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