Aim: This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of an educational board game in improving nursing students’ medication knowledge. Background: Maintaining patient safety is a core practice for nurses. Medication management is a central principle of patient safety. Nurses acquire pharmacology knowledge and medication safety skills in the classroom training. Thus, solidifying and strengthening nursing students’ medication knowledge are crucial tasks for nursing faculty members. In recent years, board games, which offer both entertainment and competitive play, have been employed to educate students in a variety of disciplines and settings. Through board game play, students can learn in an enjoyable and fun atmosphere. Design: A randomized controlled trial design. Methods: A convenience sample of 69 nursing students was obtained from a university in Taiwan. Participants were randomly assigned either to an experimental (board game) group (n = 35) or a comparison group (n = 34) using block randomization. The experimental group engaged in board game play to learn about medications, whereas the comparison group attended a one-hour didactic lecture. Using questionnaires, data were collected before the intervention, immediately post intervention and one month post intervention. Results: Following the intervention, regardless of the learning method, both groups showed significant improvements in their immediate recall of medication information. However, when retested after one month, the experimental group obtained significantly higher scores than the comparison group. Moreover, students in the experimental group reported more satisfaction with the learning method than those in the comparison group. Conclusions: The study results suggest that learning through board games could enhance nursing students’ retention of knowledge. Students reported favorable reactions to using a board game learning method for increasing knowledge of medication. With respect to this finding, faculty members may consider employing board games as teaching tools in nursing and other health science courses. Moreover, the findings of this study can also provide additional information for nursing managers in hospital wards or long-term care facilities where nurses are trained to familiarize themselves with frequently administered medications. Tweetable abstract: Board game play can enhance nursing students’ retention of knowledge; students reported positive reactions to game-based learning for medication training.
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