From Simulation to Practice: Preparing Students for Real World Nursing

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 3:15 PM

Cynthia Cummings, EdD, RN
School of Nursing, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Learning Objective 1: describe possible deficit clinical areas that may be identified through simulation activities.

Learning Objective 2: discuss simulation areas identified as important for clinical preparation, as noted by hospital based educators.


This presentation will cover the results of a yearlong study on the preparation of senior nursing students through simulation activities. The goal of the research was to explore perceived gaps in nursing students’ proficiency and practice readiness between their educational environment and hospital practice. The study began with research into possible deficit clinical areas. From faculty observation of simulation experiences, problem areas were identified, such as inter-professional communication, priority setting and basic understanding of medication side effects and implications. Because of these findings, the adult health faculty determined that our students may be lacking some critical performance skills. We felt that by surveying nursing educators in our area, we could get a better understanding of the community’s perception of new graduates and what practice ready competencies they may be missing.

Methods & Findings

Hospital nursing education coordinators in the greater Jacksonville, Florida area were surveyed and group meetings conducted, in an effort to understand what areas of nursing practice proficiency are perceived to be lacking in new graduates.  The survey consisted of 5 questions involving the ranking of various scenarios, skills and preparation areas. Based on the data obtained, the research team developed and modified core simulation scenarios to enhance student learning in those skill areas identified as needed by the healthcare facilities. The participants ranked 11 scenarios as having the highest clinical importance; they ranged from code blue to postop patients. In addition, they ranked clinical skills and behaviors, such as high risk medication administration through documentation. Information on equipment-specific proficiency of new nursing graduates was obtained, as well as student satisfaction and self-confidence in learning scores.  The data obtained is crucial in the development of proficient graduates and also provides needed collaboration with the institutional nursing educators in our area.