In July 2014, the NCSBN published the landmark study proving high quality healthcare simulation can replace up to 50% of clinical experiences for nursing students (Simulation Study | NCSBN). Since then, many studies have confirmed these findings.
Nursing schools moved to embrace these findings due to the fact that there is a limited amount of clinical spaces available and not all clinical experiences meet the learning needs of students.
Replacing a cornerstone learning experience, that of clinical, with simulation is not without its challenges. To add more simulation to an existing program requires more human resources, more medical equipment, simulators, and more simulation space including debrief space. Just throwing more resources at a simulation program will not mean that you will immediately provide the high quality simulation experience that would replace a student’s clinical time. The addition of resources must be added thoughtfully and appropriately.
For example, adding human patient simulators seems to be an easy way to add more capacity to the simulation program and support more students to get more time with simulation. But it is not that easy. The clinical time that students spend in the acute and community environments is across many general and non-specialized healthcare settings. You could try to replace 50% of the clinical time across all these experiences which would mean buying a lot of different kinds of simulators to simulate all of these clinical areas. Or you could focus on 2 or 3 areas where you have the most challenges getting clinical time or getting the correct clinical experiences to meet learning goals and use simulation to significantly decrease clinical time in these areas thus decreasing overall clinical time by up to 50%.
How do you decide which areas to focus on?
At KCS Health Sciences Consulting we can review your program from a content, pedagogical, and simulation perspective. After reviewing your program we will assist you to design an approach that will help you meet your needs and the students learning needs. We will do this by
· Assessing which areas are the most challenging to meet learning outcomes
· Design a set of specifications for human patient simulators or standardized participants that would meet the needs of replace clinical time with simulation.
· Assist with the purchase process of these simulators
· Provide professional training for use of simulators
· Help you create the necessary scenarios that meet your curricular needs
· Examine your space and work with architects to translate your needs into a space design that would support more simulation time.
· Design an Audiovisual and IT plan and work with the experts to assist with the implementation of the design.