Simulation is a valuable learning strategy for nursing students, helping them develop clinical competency and reflective thinking skills. Patient simulators, sophisticated medical equipment, and technology make medical simulation experiences realistic and learning transferable to the clinical setting.

Five of our clinical courses include simulation clinical days. Each clinical group comes to the center for four hours and participates either live or virtually in four cases. Every case has specific learning objectives, which include QSEN competencies (patient safety, communication, teamwork, patient-centered care).

Evaluation data and student feedback support the efficacy of the simulation program. 94% of our nursing students agree that our simulation environment is realistic and challenging, and all agree that their participation in simulation will assist them in their transition to nursing practice. Faculty report that observing their students in simulation provides valuable insight to students’ critical thinking and clinical ability that is not easily acquired while supervising students on a busy clinical floor. Along with gaining information about individual student performance, simulation provides essential aggregate data on assessment and intervention skills, and these results inform curricular revisions.

As we have gained expertise in simulation and debriefing design and implementation, we acknowledge their value in students’ learning of other concepts essential to nursing practice, e.g. patient teaching, normal assessments, and palliative care. We have embedded cultural and ethical dilemmas in simulation exercises, and observed that simulation and debriefing provide an effective vehicle to allow students to evaluate their knowledge, attitudes, and skills, to modify their behavior and actions, and reflect (verbally and in writing) on the effect of the change

To learn more about simulation at the Center for Clinical Education and Research, check out the links below.