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Long-term outcomes of service-learning on civic engagement and professional nursing practice

Arnold, Barbara
Although there is a growing body of knowledge concerning service-learning in professional nursing education, nursing research reports minimal studies that sufficiently address the effects of service-learning strategies on baccalaureate nursing alumni in promoting self-efficacy toward long-term civic engagement or development of professional practice. The purpose of this predictive, correlational study was to determine if a relationship existed between participation in the service-learning experience and self-efficacy toward civic engagement as a long-term outcome of professional nursing education and the development of professional practice in nursing alumni. Spearman's Rho was used to correlate the independent variable of service-learning with the dependent variables of civic engagement and professional practice. Multiple regression analysis indicated that service-learning had less than a 4% effect on civic engagement attitudes and a 6% effect on community service hours (behavior). The Social Cognitive Theory, specifically self-efficacy coupled with the construct of practical reasoning provided framework for the study. Results concluded that service-learning had a low to moderate relationship with both long-term civic engagement and the development of professional nursing practice.