Didactic Instruction and Simulation: A Longitudinal Study Describing a Team Effort Utilizing Graduate Students as Instructors in a Undergraduate Simulation Experience with Faculty Preceptors

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Cheryl K. Giefer, PhD, FNP-C1
Jennifer O'Brien Harris, MSN, ARNP2
Tamara Simon, MSN, ARNP1
Mary Carol G. Pomatto, EdD, ARNP-CNS3
Sandee McChristy, MSN, ARNP4
Michele Hart, MN, RN1
Annette VanAnne, MSN, CNM, ARNP1
1Nursing, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS
2Department of Nursing, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS
3Nursing Department, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS
4Nursing, Pittsburg State University, PIttsburg, KS

Learning Objective 1: develop a teaching strategy utilizing simulation in nursing education for graduate and undergraduate students.

Learning Objective 2: facilitate clinical instruction through the use of the human-patient simulator as a clinical teaching-learning technology.

Summary of Project:  The use of the Simulation Experience as a teaching tool in nursing education is a growing trend in nursing programs throughout the United States, as well as internationally.  The purpose of the study was to determine whether the teaching strategy of Simulation is an effective method of instruction. This project involved students from a graduate nursing program with faculty preceptors.  The graduate students served as didactic and clinical instructors for undergraduate nursing students as a course assignment for Teaching Strategies in Nursing.  An interactive patient care simulation utilized the METI (Medical Education Technologies, Inc) Simulation Mannequins.  The graduate students utilized simulation scenarios, Blood Therapy, for first semester junior nursing students in Foundations of Nursing Practice.

Methodology: This descriptive study was designed by MSN students to measure first level BSN students’ response to selected Simulation scenarios.  Qualitative measurement of the effectiveness of the simulations was measured utilizing a comment section on METI’s Simulation Effectiveness Scale and a quantitative measurement of participants’ response to the simulation was also measured with METI’s Simulation Effectiveness Scale. The surveys reflect the students’ cumulative experience; comparing the 2007 class with the 2008 class.

Conclusions: Conclusions were made based on a combination of content analysis and analytic induction of the qualitative data, as well as quantitative data derived from a 5-point interval scale with raw scores. 

Implications for Nursing Educational Practice:  The use of Simulation scenarios provides realistic-like experiences in a safe, risk-free environment.  This simulation project offers opportunities for student learning (both undergraduate and graduate) and teaching experiences (for graduate students) as the graduate students were participating as part of a requirement for their Master of Science in Nursing Program.  With the decreased availability of clinical opportunities for nursing students, the use of simulated clinical experiences provides consistent evaluation of structured learning experiences.