INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of an interventional package on soft skills and perceived needs among nursing students.
METHODS: A quasi-experimental study with a non-equivalent control group design was conducted on 112 nursing students (56 in the experimental group and 56 in the control group) using a simple random method at selected nursing colleges. The data were collected using a descriptive characteristics form, soft skills scale, and perceived need scale. The experimental group received a 4-session intervention package (120 minutes per day), and then the scales were re-administered to both groups after one month. Descriptive analysis was used to evaluate qualitative data, including frequency and percentage distribution, and quantitative data were evaluated using the t-test for dependent and independent groups.
RESULTS: The mean soft skills score of nursing students in the experimental group before the interventional package was 178.86±23.34, and after the intervention was 241.02±23.01. The mean perceived need score before the interventional package was 36.29±3.41, and after was 44.70±3.15. In the experimental group, there was a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between the mean scores on both scales before and after the intervention, but not in the control group (p>0.05). A statistically significant difference (p<0.05) was observed in the mean post-test scores on both scales between the experimental and control groups.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The interventional package used in the study significantly improved the soft skills and perception of nursing students. More importantly, separate soft skills programs in nursing curricula could help them enhance their careers in today's competitive world. More experimental studies with additional soft skills variables are recommended.