Simulation: An Evolutionary Concept

Monday, 9 November 2015

Margaret E. Curnin, MSN, RN
College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing, Amherst, MA, USA

Simulation has been used in nursing for many decades with little thought as to the actual definition. An early mention of simulation in nursing was made by Burns (1984) who used the term in competitive simulation or gaming, defining simulation as rules, challenges, or as a form of play. (pg. 214)  Billings and Halstead (2005) presented one definition of simulation as “A near representation of an actual life event; may be presented by using computer software, role play, case studies, or games that represent reality and actively involve learners in applying the content of the lesson.” (pg. 308)  Changes in healthcare, such as lack of available clinical sites, shortage of nursing faculty, shorter patient length of stay, and increase in nursing schools/students, have impacted the clinical learning opportunities for nursing students. (Alinier, Hunt, Gordon, and Harwood, 2006; Brown and Chronister, 2009; Jeffries, 2005; Maran and Glavin, 2003; Weaver, 2011) Simulation has been identified as an acceptable alternative to learning experiences in the clinical arena. (Bearnson and Wiker, 2005) Beth Rodgers’ Evolutionary method was used for this concept analysis as the method  addresses the perspective held in nursing that human beings and nursing phenomena are in constant change, interrelated and overlapping, and interpreted in regard to multiple contextual factors. (Rodgers and Knafl, 2000, pg. 77) Using Beth Rodgers’ Evolutionary method, the attributes of Simulation were found to include safety, teaching/learning, experiential, realistic or life-like, and elements of control. Antecedents were identified as acquisition of new skills, provision of safety in performing care, teaching of essential healthcare concepts, and achievement of learning objectives. The most recognized consequence of simulation is the provision of safety for both patients and learner. This poster describes research into Simulation using Beth Rodger's Evolutionary method to investigate the concept of Simulation over time.