Use of Virtual Hospital to Enhance Clinical Decision Making Skills of Acute NP Students

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Kellie Dionne Bryant, DNP, WHNP1
Jordan Eric Genee, BA, CTS2
Mary M. Brennan, DNP, ACNP-BC, CNS2
Nadia Sultana, MBA, RN-BC3
(1)College of Nursing, NYU, NY, NY
(2)College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY
(3)Nursing Informatics, Master's & Advanced Certificate Program, NYU College Of Nursing, New York, NY

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to explain the benefits of using virtual simulation to evaluate student's clinical decision making skills.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify the steps to creating a virtual case study simulation.

Evaluating students' clinical decision making skills can be challenging for faculty using traditional methods such as clinical site visits and multiple choice exams. An intraprofessional team of experts in simulation learning, informatics, and Acute Care advanced Practice nursing has developed an innovative web-based simulated virtual hospital that included interactive case studies as a formative evaluation tool. Using Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning as the theoretical background, we developed four case studies using trained Standardized Patients (SPs), signifying that learning evolves from interactions among cognition, experience, and perceptions. In order to create a holistic patient care experience, each case study involved several “chapters” in which students cared for the virtual patient from hospital admission to discharge. To fully engage the Acute Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) students, we incorporated the use of multimedia technology into each case study including video vignettes of patient interactions, diagnostic tests, and audio recordings of assessment findings. The SPs described their history, chief complaints, and medical problems to capture the human emotions associated with the illness experience. After the videos were completed and uploaded to the Learning Management System, the ACNP students worked in groups to evaluate the patient’s history and physical findings, order appropriate diagnostic tests, analyze test results, determine differential diagnoses, and develop a treatment plan according to the best evidence using a discussion board format. The faculty facilitated the discussions and provided feedback to students throughout the chapters of the case study. Feedback from students has been extremely positive.