Comparison of second-degree and traditional baccalaureate nursing students’ performance in managing acute patient deterioration events

Eileen Mary Cormier, James Whyte IV


Background: Students in accelerated second-degree programs are reported to be highly motivated, older, competitive, maintain higher grade point averages than their traditional counterparts, and score higher on standardized nursing achievement tests. However, studies that directly measure clinical performance parameters of students in accelerated second-degree programs in direct side-by-side comparison with traditional students under similarly controlled conditions have not been reported.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare traditional and second-degree baccalaureate nursing students’ performance of key assessments and interventions in the management of deteriorating patients in a simulated task environment.

Methods: A convenience sample of 20 traditional and 20 accelerated undergraduate baccalaureate-nursing students participated. The four high-fidelity simulation exercises required the participants to detect early signs of patient deterioration and initiate treatment-based interventions. Two research personnel independently coded audio and videotaped data.  The coders recorded the first time in which an assessment or intervention was performed. An independent samples t-test was performed to determine differences in nursing students’ performance of key assessments and interventions.

Results: Second-degree accelerated nursing students were in general more likely to recognize and respond to indicators of patient deterioration more promptly than their traditional counterparts.

Conclusions: Second-degree students appear to possess attributes that increase the likelihood that they will appreciate stimuli in the clinical environment, which is a precursor to effective intervention. Further research is required to substantiate the factors that account for performance differences between these traditional and second-degree baccalaureate nursing students.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.