A recent study, The NCSBN National Simulation Study: A Longitudinal, Randomized, Controlled Study Replacing Clinical Hours with Simulation in Prelicensure Nursing Education, offers support for the use of high quality healthcare simulation as a substitute for up to 50% of traditional clinical time. The findings also reveal a key factor in the success of nursing education simulation programs is a dedicated team of educators who are well-trained in the best practices of theory-based simulation and debriefing methods, according to a news release.
Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, said the research conducted through the National Council State Board of Nursing study provides data that encourage nursing board regulators and nurse educators to incorporate simulation best practices into all programs, and calls for support, resources and training to nursing faculty using simulation-based pedagogy.
Well-prepared, competent faculty dedicated and committed to the schools simulation program who are eager to provide learner support, and conduct theory-based debriefing, use life-like equipment and supplies to facilitate realism of the simulation will in turn earn the dedication of nursing students seeking to acquire quality clinical education, she said in the release.
Jeffries, a professor of nursing at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore who served as an adviser to the study, said she encourages nursing education programs to explore more in-depth and standardized training for their simulations teams.
There are training programs, advanced degrees and certificates available through a variety of formats in numerous locations across the country, she said, adding the society also has developed high quality certification programs for individuals who perform those healthcare simulations every day, including educators, operations specialists and faculty who have progressed to a more advanced role in their practice of healthcare simulation.
The identification of appropriate and available clinical education sites is becoming more difficult as nursing and other healthcare enrollments grow, she said in the release. Most are filled to capacity and emerging technologies are further straining their resources. Clinical education must shift strategies. These study results offer educators the liberty to use more simulation experiences, particularly for those low-incidence, high-risk critical behaviors all nurses need to learn and experience.