Simulation and Transitioning to Professional Practice

Sunday, 30 July 2017: 10:35 AM

Carrie A. Bailey, PhD, MSN, BS, APRN-BC, RN, CHSE
College of Nursing, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA

The purpose of this study was to understand how new graduate nurses perceive the value of simulation in making the transition into professional practice. This study will use a descriptive qualitative approach with a sample of first year nurses. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model serves as this study’s conceptual framework. For the current study, the sample consisted of 10 newly graduated, female nurses with less than one year of experience working in the hospital setting were interviewed. Data analysis included interviews and transcription by the researcher. Finally, participants were asked about themes to increase rigor. Four themes emerged from this research: 1) how simulation is being used, 2) the perceived value of simulation, 3) simulation versus “real life,” and 4) simulation and preparation for practice.

This study showed that simulation is being used in nursing programs, but in different ways. For the most part, the newly licensed graduate nurses were satisfied with their simulation experiences. They were often able to reflect on their experiences, which helped them transition to professional practice. Even though high-fidelity simulations differ from working with real patients, participants appreciated the familiarity such simulations gave them for possible patient care scenarios. Simulation also was shown to increase skill exposure and confidence.

With recent and continuing changes in healthcare and nursing education, it is fair to assume that simulation is not only here to stay but will its use will continue to increase. Nursing programs and educators need to know how best to use this teaching method to provide a safe, skilled nursing workforce by producing well-prepared graduates. The themes and recommendations that emerged from this study can act as a starting point in further researcher to exploit simulation to the fullest extent possible in preparing newly graduated nurses to transition to practice and make an impact on the health and wellbeing of their patients.