High-fidelity simulation directed by nurse educators, may allow nursing students to practice skills and interact in healthcare scenarios emulating realistic clinical experiences. The purpose of this evidence-based practice piloted project, was to examine the effectiveness of simulation-based learning. The project participants were eight final-year nursing students with an age range in years of 23-47 recruited from a two year diploma nursing program located in New England. Project implementation occurred over an eleven week period of time. Data were collected about participants’ perceptions of their anxiety, stress, and distractions experienced in the clinical environment while administering medications to patients, after participants completed pre and posttests following a simulation experience. Participants were provided self-care education on the topics of aromatherapy, benefits of sleep, healthy eating, positive affirmations, and exercise for five weeks prior to the simulation scenario. Results suggest no significant change from pre to posttest scores in stress (p= .325), but a significant decrease in arousal (p= .021) after the simulation intervention. The frequencies of participants’ responses indicate while a benchmark of 6 for achievement of simulation learning was not achieved, 37.5% to 75% of participants reported achievement of learning. These findings support the need for nursing programs to use the teaching modality of high-fidelity simulation to ease the transition of pre-licensure students to the registered nurse role. Use of such tools may create a culture of patient safety that the pre-licensure nursing students will implement as they transition to clinical practice.
Keywords: nursing students, patient safety, medication error, stress, anxiety, distraction, simulation, aromatherapy, exercise, sleep, nutrition/healthy eating, positive affirmations
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