Eileen C. Thomas, PhD, RN

January 2017

Abstract

The Institute of Medicine made a recommendation that 80% of all nurses possess a minimum of a bachelor of science in nursing degree by 2020 (Institute of Medicine, 2011). As a result of an influx of nurses returning to school, the shortage of public/community health clinical practice sites led to competition between schools for student placements in community settings. Finding appropriate clinical practice sites has become a challenge, not only for nursing students but also for students in all practice-disciplines with a required clinical or practice experience component. Immersive learning in a virtual environment effectively addresses the problem of identifying and securing appropriate community-based sites for practice experiences and provides a safe environment for students to learn how to conduct a windshield survey.

Key Points

  • Simulation, commonly used as a supplemental educational strategy to teach healthcare professional students hands-on skills, has become a valuable tool to provide practical experiences in a safe environment before students are expected to function in real-world acute care clinical settings.
  • Finding clinical practice sites in community settings has become a challenge and resulted in competition between schools for student placements in the community.
  • The use of simulation in nursing education provides opportunities for students to learn and apply critical thinking skills and theoretical principles of nursing care in a safe environment. Immersive virtual environments can be used to teach community/public health concepts such as community assessment by conducting a windshield survey.
  • Virtual environments can be used in a variety of programs outside of nursing and can be a valuable immersive learning experience for students in many different practice disciplines with a required clinical or practice experience component.

Keywords: immersive learning, finding appropriate clinical practice sites, windshield survey

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Robyn P. Cant, Simon J. Cooper

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 2015, Vol. 5, No. 11

Abstract

E-simulation involves goal-based role play using digital simulations that take place via a computer screen. Learners interact with the program via multi-media applications such as animation and video, graphics, sound, vision, and text through the use of advanced Web authoring tools. When the simulation is Web-based (via a remote server), this allows data collection and real-time feedback. We aimed to explore how the Internet has been utilized for the purposes of e-simulation in healthcare education.

Key Points

  • E-simulation involves learners in goal-based role-play using digital simulations that take place via a computer screen. These programs depict real-life clinical case situations to engage the learner in problem-solving.
  • Some studies of e-simulation (with programs based either locally on a personal computer, or on the worldwide web) have been shown to be largely as effective as other teaching methods in teaching clinical skills. For example, a randomized controlled trial involving first-year nursing students in learning pre- and post-operative skills on a computer screen or in a skills laboratory had similar learning outcomes
  • The time is right for greater distribution and sharing of Web-based simulation resources for teaching in both undergraduate and at professional levels.  Web-based simulation programs are a valuable resource that can be used in combination with traditional forms of laboratory and classroom teaching, in order to facilitate the development of students’ clinical competence.

Keywords: clinical simulation, simulation education, virtual learning environments, e-simulation in healthcare education

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