Delivering a large cohort simulation - beginning nursing students’ experience: A pre-post survey
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Background: The use of simulation has been growing rapidly within nursing programs, internationally. Simulation provides opportunity for beginning nursing students to rehearse patient care experiences and develop confidence in technical and non-technical nursing skills. Methods: This study used a quantitative pre-post online survey to investigate: the components of the integrated simulation experience that assisted with learning; students’ confidence in caring for patients comparable to patients experienced in the simulation and their overall satisfaction with the simulation experience. Results: A total of 480 students participated in a simulation prior to clinical practicum and 452 (94.16 completed the survey questions). Guidance by the academic and clinical facilitator, and the film watched prior to participating in the active simulation encounter, were highlighted as components which provided most assistance to students in their learning. A significant increase in confidence in caring for patients like those in the integrated simulation experience was noted between the pre- and post-simulation surveys. Prior experience in nursing was seen to significantly influence confidence.Conclusions: Providing simulation encounters for large student cohorts although challenging, is achievable and rated highly by students. This study indicates that the integrated simulation experience has a positive impact on beginning students’ feelings of confidence for managing similar patients in the clinical setting. Further research is required to explore how and why the guidance of the teacher and facilitator, and the use of a film which models nurse behaviour prior to the simulation, are viewed as of most assistance to beginning students. Additionally, future research must explore the impact simulation has on confidence and performance during and subsequent to clinical practicum. Simulation has a great capacity to augment the preparation of students for clinical practicum and for the development of clinical judgement, clinical skills and role identity.
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