Faculty Perceptions of Simulation in the Early Entry Master's Program

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:55 AM

Anna Marie Hefner, RN, MSN, MaEd, CPNP
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA
Linda L. Hansen-Kyle, PhD, RN, CCM
Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, San Diego Campus, San Diego, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify faculty perceptions in using simulation in pre-licensure courses.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss identified changes seen in student behavior following simulation.

Purpose: The purposes of this study were to identify faculty perceptions of simulation and to measure changes in specific student behaviors after simulation. 

Background and significance:  Simulation use has increased in nursing programs across the country.  Faculty are asked to embrace this pedagogical change which places emphasis of more realistic simulated clinical practice experiences for students. Faculty approached simulation with differing perceptions and expectations.

Methods: A mixed method approach was utilized. A survey, consisting of both qualitative and quantitative components, was distributed to thirty-six faculty involved in simulation in an Entry Level Master’s program utilizing Human Patient simulators for pre-licensure courses.  Faculty were informed of the study and participation was voluntary.   Fifteen faculty responded (42%).   Analysis of the qualitative date was through coding for themes and dimensions in the tradition of Corbin and Strauss.  Major themes were grouped and relationships identified.  Consensus was achieved through discussion.  The quantitative data is reported as means and distribution.

Results: Three broad themes (preparation, communication, evaluation) emerged from the qualitative data: faculty preparation focusing on the individual course content; communication among faculty team member to enhance the scenario; and smaller group sizes to allow for individual student evaluation.  Quantitative data revealed changes in the student performance in the clinical rotation following simulation: 79% of faculty saw an increase in student knowledge; 37.7% described a decrease in student anxiety; and 50% described an increase in student confidence.

Conclusion: Preparation of both faculty and students appears to influence the embracing of simulation.  Faculty saw benefits and challenges to using simulation in multiple clinical groups of a course.  Qualitative and quantitative indicate increased student skill acquisition, knowledge and decision making processes in clinical rotations.

Implications for Practice: Understanding faculty perceptions of simulation and expectations leads to the development of better training for both faculty and students.