Exploration of nursing students? views on the theory-practice gap in surgical nursing education and its relationship with attitudes towards the profession and evidence-based practice
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CitationŞimşek, P., Özmen, G. Ç., Yavuz, M. E., Koçan, S., & Çilingir, D. (2023). Exploration of nursing students' views on the theory-practice gap in surgical nursing education and its relationship with attitudes towards the profession and evidence-based practice. Nurse Education in Practice, 69, 103624.
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore nursing students’ views on the theory-practice gap in surgical nursing education and determine its relationship with attitudes towards the profession and evidence-based practice. Background: In nursing education, the discrepancy between the theoretical knowledge and clinical practices is known as the “theory-practice gap”. Although this problem was defined many years ago, scientific information on the subject is very limited in terms of surgical nursing. Method: This descriptive-analytical and cross-sectional study was carried out in three different universities in the Black Sea Region of Türkiye. The sample consisted of 389 nursing students. The data collection was carried out in May-July 2022 through the use of the following tools: The Attitude Scale for the Nursing Profession (ASNP), the Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Questionnaire for Evidence-Based Practice (KABQ-EBP) and the researchers made form to determine students’ views on the theory-practice gap. The data were analysed with Student’s t-test, multiple linear regression analysis. Results: 72.8% of the students stated that they thought there was a discrepancy between their theoretical surgical nursing courses and clinical practice. While the total ASNP score of students who thought that there was a discrepancy between theoretical education and clinical practice was lower than that of the other students (p = 0.002), no difference was found among the students in terms of the total KABQ-EBP score (p > 0.05). In the multiple linear regression analysis, it was determined that thinking about gap (β = -0.125, p = 0.009), gender (β = -0.134, p = 0.006), willingness to choose the profession (β = 0.150, p = 0.002) and KABQ-EBP score (β = 0.247, p < 0.001) had significant effects on nursing students’ attitudes towards the profession. In the model, %12 of the total variance was explained by the variables. Conclusion: The study shows that the gap between theory and practice for the surgical nursing course is a problem perceived by most students. Also, students who thought that there was a theory-practice gap for the surgical nursing course had a more negative attitude towards the profession, while their attitudes towards evidence-based nursing were not different from others. The results of this study encourage further research to gain a better understanding of the impact of the gap between theory and practice on nursing students.