MEANINGFUL USE OF SIMULATION AS AN EDUCATIONAL METHOD IN NURSING PROGRAMS
Thompson, Teri Lynn
University of Kansas
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine the use of simulation technology within nursing programs leading to licensure as registered nurses. In preparation for this study the Use of Simulation Technology Inventory (USTI) was developed and based in the structure, processes, outcomes model and the current literature on simulation. The survey was then piloted in one Midwestern state. Total item content validity index reported from the first use was 0.97. The USTI was sent to nursing programs in three Midwestern states, and 23 programs of nursing completed the survey. Data were both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Findings indicated that the majority of the respondents reported that they were or would be using simulation to teach undergraduate students. The courses that simulation technology were most frequently used in were medical-surgical nursing and obstetrics. Respondents described their physical simulation space, how they use simulation within their program, and student evaluation practices. Implications include research implications, educational implications and best practice implications. The most important research implications included the need to develop, pilot, and use methods to assess simulation outcomes for students and against program outcomes. Nursing education has found the gap between academia and practice is increasing. The shortage of nursing faculty, clinical sites in not only medical surgical nursing, but in many specialty areas, and decreasing financial support for nursing education have pushed nursing programs to explore new teaching methodologies. Simulation technology is one of the newer methodologies that has had a positive impact within nursing education. The best practice implication from this study was that nursing programs should develop a plan for the funding, implementation, and use of simulation technology. The plan should include a curricular map so that the simulator is included in all key nursing courses. Finally, this study is unique in that only one other study exists that examines what is occurring with simulation use. More research needs to be completed looking at other regions of the US so that best practices can be established. Key words: simulation technology, best practices, simulated learning environments, nursing education,
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