Simulation: An Innovative Technology in First-Year Undergraduate Nursing Education Program

Monday, 30 October 2017

Sujatha Shanmugasundaram, PhD
105/77, Nott street, Village Manor, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Background: Internationally, simulation is recognised as an innovative pedagogic approach that has gained much popularity and hence provides the focus for this research project. Simulated practice learning has been used as an adjunct to clinical skills gained in practice settings for a number of years. Life size manikins were first used to support learning in 1911, becoming more popular in the 1950s. Today, simulation encompasses a range of delivery methods and modes including low-fidelity basic simulators such as a simulated wound site, high-fidelity interactive manikins with life-like qualities, role-play, case studies and virtual online environments. But, yet, there are only few literatures available on simulation.

Whilst the benefits of simulation may be espoused, we should not forget the challenges simulated practice learning can pose for education providers, facilitators and students. As the technology advances, so the potential to offer more complex and realistic simulation will increase, heightening the concerns of those facilitators less able to manage new technologies. Further issues include potential challenges to the current provision of direct care in the practice setting, as technology offers further scope to further reduce student exposure to real patients and practice. As a consequence educational providers could be challenged to provide more resources to support simulation including additional facilitators, new facilities, updated technology and disposables. Furthermore, Ganley and Linnard-Palmer suggest the “safe” environment provided in simulation is focussed on the patient rather than the student who can feel exposed by the mode of learning, resulting in anxiety and reduced self-esteem. This suggests simulation can be challenging to students as well as beneficial. Given the need for further understanding of simulation as a pedagogic approach this special edition brings together a range of articles between them offer a review the current literature and concept of simulation; consider the use and application of simulation in a range of curricula, raise contemporary issues and reflect on the student experience of this mode of learning.

Aim: The main aim of the study is to implement and integrate simulation in first year undergraduate nursing education program.

Methods: A cross sectional pre-test and post-test design will be utilized for the study. Convenient sampling technique will be used to recruit the participants. The study setting will be one of the reputed universities providing nursing education program. Data will be collected over a period of one year after obtaining ethics approval from the relevant study site. Data will be analysed using SPSS software (Descriptive & Inferential statistics).

Results: Results not yet available. This is an ongoing research project. Data collection is in progress. 

Conclusion: It is expected that there will be an overwhelming response in implementing and integrating simulation in first year nursing education program. However, the study findings will effectively develop evidence-based simulation in undergraduate nursing education program and prepare nurses to deliver high quality patient care in healthcare settings.