Problem-solving should be a fundamental component of nursing education because it is a core ability for professional nurses. For more effective learning, nursing students must understand the relationship between self-directed learning readiness and problem-solving ability. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships among self-directed learning readiness, problem-solving ability, and academic self-efficacy among undergraduate nursing students.
From November to December 2016, research was conducted among 500 nursing undergraduate students in Tianjin, China, using a self-directed learning readiness scale, an academic self-efficacy scale, a questionnaire related to problem-solving, and self-designed demographics. The response rate was 85.8%.
For Chinese nursing students, self-directed learning readiness and academic self-efficacy reached a medium-to-high level, while problem-solving abilities were at a low level. There were significant positive correlations among the students’ self-directed learning readiness, academic self-efficacy, and problem-solving ability. Furthermore, academic self-efficacy demonstrated a mediating effect on the relationship between the students’ self-directed learning readiness and problem-solving ability.
To enhance students’ problem-solving ability, nursing educators should pay more attention to the positive impact of self-directed learning readiness and self-efficacy in nursing students’ education.