Creating and Evaluating “The Mental Health Ward”: Undergraduate Nursing Students' Perspectives of a Simulated Patient Care Experience

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:40 AM

Jeanette Rossetti, EdD, RN1
Kathleen Musker, PhD, RN1
Siobhan Smyth, RPN, Dip.CPN; RNT; PG.Dip CHSE; BNS (Hons); MSc.2
Evelyn Byrne, MSc., RNT, RGN, RCN2
Catherine Maney, Ed.D. (c), M.S., R.N.1
Kristen Selig, M.S, B.S., R.N.1
Clarisa Medina Poeliniz, MSN, APN, CPNP1
Susan Andersen, M.S, B.S., R.N.1
(1)School of Nursing and Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
(2)School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Irleand, Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery, Galway, Ireland

Learning Objective 1: Describe the planning and organization of the Mental Health Ward curriculum.

Learning Objective 2: Identify the nursing students’ learning from their participation in the Mental Health Ward.

The future of psychiatric mental health nursing lies in the preparation of nurses who will meet the mental health care needs of society. In the United States one in five people are diagnosed with a mental illness. Escalating mental health care needs coupled with a decreasing nurse labor force demand a fundamental paradigm shift in undergraduate education and service partnerships among psychiatric mental health nursing students and practicing nurses. This factor emphasizes the need for significant enhancement of psychiatric mental health nursing education in undergraduate curricula. New educational models and innovative learning strategies are needed to better prepare nursing graduates to provide holistic care. This presentation will discuss the development and evaluation of the “Mental Health Ward”, a two credit hour course that is being offered for the first time to nursing students at a US Midwestern University.  The Mental Health Ward is an innovative, simulated hospital environment that includes the use of standardized patients and role play scenarios resulting in a full mission simulationwhereby students learn a variety of psychiatric diagnoses, and practice a variety of skills including nursing assessments, admission and discharge processes, medication administration, therapeutic communication, and patient education groups.  The students can also be involved in high risk situations such as handling aggressive behavior and managing, suicidal and/homicidal patients.  The developed infrastructure of the Mental Health Ward will be reviewed, and a research study conducted, to evaluate the students’ learning outcomes of learning in the simulated experience.  The METI™ Simulation Effectiveness Scale will be utilized as the tool in the study to evaluate self efficacy and communication techniques utilized by the nursing students in the simulated experience.  A collaborating behavioral health hospital is offering the use of their facility so that the students can experience the Mental Health Ward in a realistic patient care environment.