Exploring Simulation Utilization and Simulation Evaluation Practices and Approaches in Undergraduate Nursing Education

Saturday, 7 November 2015: 3:55 PM

Hilde Zitzelsberger, BScN, MSc, PhD, RN1
Sue Coffey, PhD, RN2
Leslie L. M. Graham, RN, BScN, MN3
Efrosini Papaconstantinou, BScN, MScN, PhD, RN1
Charles Anyinam, RN4
Jacqueline Mangal, BScN, RN5
Greg Dodd, BScN, RN5
(1)Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada
(2)Nursing, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada
(3)Faculty of Health Sciences/School of Health and Community Services, Durham College-University of Ontario, Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada
(4)Nursing, George Brown College, Toronto, ON, Canada
(5)University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada

Simulation is becoming one of the most significant teaching-learning strategies available in undergraduate nursing education. Through the development, application, and evaluation of high quality simulation experiences across a full range of modalities, (including high-fidelity, medium-fidelity, and low-fidelity) learners are able to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for safe, competent, and ethical nursing practice. By approximating clinical practice within nursing education, simulation provides real-time opportunities for students to work through complex patient-care situations, ideally receiving evaluative feedback that promotes increased confidence and competence. Increasingly, simulation is playing an essential role in supporting educators to facilitate nursing students’ learning of complex concepts and skills and readying them for clinical practice (CASN, 2007; Cant & Cooper, 2010; Norman, 2012; Rickets, 2011). Yet, ample, robust evidence that supports the effectiveness of simulation for learning and evaluation in nursing education has yet to be established (Rickets, 2011). As the use of simulation increases in nursing education, the need to evaluate students appropriately, accurately, and in reliable ways intensifies (Todd, Manz, Hawkins, Parsons, & Hercinger, 2008). Furthermore, as nursing programs increasingly consider simulation as direct clinical replacement in the context of increased student enrolment and dwindling clinical placements, standardized evaluation must play a vital role (CASN, 2007; Norman, 2012; Todd et al., 2008).

In this presentation, we will discuss our study that investigates simulation utilization and simulation evaluation practices used among all undergraduate nursing educational programs in Ontario, Canada. In this province, a total of 36 educational institutions (14 universities along with 22 college partners) are involved in either independently or collaboratively offering baccalaureate degrees in nursing. To date, while literature exists on some of the common practices and approaches to simulation in education, standardization has not resulted (Leighton, 2013). As such, there is little available data broadly, and no available data in Ontario, describing simulation utilization and simulation evaluation in undergraduate nursing education. The goal of our study is to establish a “picture” of current trends, practices, and approaches related to simulation that is employed within this entire province. To this end, a mixed methods approach, in which both quantitative and qualitative data is collected from simulationists, technologists, technicians, faculty, leaders, and administrators through a confidential online questionnaire will be utilized to gather information from all 36 Ontario educational programs. An overview of early results of this study in terms of themes identified and statistical summaries will be shared. The result of this study hold the potential to further research and direct future developments in the ongoing evolution of best practices in the science of simulation in Ontario nursing education as well as nationally and internationally.