Teaching motivational interviewing to nurse practitioner students: A pilot study

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Purpose:This quasi-experimental study examined the outcomes of a brief educational module for graduate nursing students as to using motivational interviewing (MI)-consistent counseling skills.Data sources:Pre- and posttest narrative and video-taped data, surveys, and self-report.Conclusions:Significantly fewer closed questions, more open questions, and less advice-giving without permission were noted in the narratives completed after the education. Similarly, the second videotape revealed significantly more affirmations, use of reflections, and use of more summaries when ending patient sessions. Surveys and self-report indicated strong satisfaction with the opportunity to learn MI.Implications for practice:A core competency of nurse practitioner (NP) education involves helping persons adopt positive health behaviors. While research utilizing MI has evidenced substantial success in this regard, little has been published as to how to incorporate teaching this skill set within an already content-laden NP curriculum. Including at least minimal education in MI should occur in NP programs. Eight hours of education, including video-taped practice, followed by "booster sessions" to maintain skills and increase confidence is recommended. More research is necessary to elucidate best practices of teaching this skill set to NPs and its eventual outcomes on patients' health.

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