Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 1-1-2007


Worldwide Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Gladys L. Husted

Committee Member

Eileen Zungolo

Committee Member

Janis Childs

Committee Member

Z. Robinson Wolf


learning outcomes, simulation


The acquisition and retention of CPR knowledge and skills has been a topic of concern for the past 20 years and there is concern that severe deterioration of knowledge and skills has been evident in only a few weeks after training. The use of human patient simulation (HPS) scenarios has been beneficial in teaching a variety of nursing skills in a risk-free environment. This type of training has been recommended by nursing educators but there is no evidence of increased acquisition and retention of CPR skills for nursing students using HPS scenario.

A quasi-experimental design was used to compare the acquisition and retention of CPR knowledge and skills for junior level baccalaureate nursing students. The control group (n = 33) received standard American Heart Association review of adult CPR skills and the experimental group (n = 32) participated in an additional HPS cardiopulmonary arrest scenario. Acquisition of CPR knowledge and skills were evaluated immediately after the training. The control group (n = 25) and the experimental group (n = 24) were reevaluated three months later on retention of CPR knowledge and skills during mock code situations.

In this study, the additional teaching methodology of the HPS program had a significant effect on both the acquisition of CPR knowledge (p = .015) and the acquisition of CPR skills (p = .000). At the same time, it was found that there was a decrease in both CPR knowledge and skills over time for both groups. However, the retention scores for the experimental group, although lower than their acquisition skills, were still significantly higher than the retention scores for CPR knowledge (p = .002) and CPR skills (p = .000) for the control group.

This data may assist nursing educators in standardizing the training of students in responding to patients in cardiac arrest within a simulated environment. This may also add to the knowledge healthcare providers need to plan for providing adequate CPR training to promote improved outcomes for patients in cardiac arrest.