Extended immersive simulation to develop nontechnical skills: Content analysis of students' views
School of Nursing and Midwifery
The purpose of undergraduate nursing education is the preparation of graduates for clinical practice. Despite this focus, graduates are often unprepared for independent practice, particularly in the use of skills such as time management, delegation and critical thinking in clinical situations. This paper reports on students’ views of using extended, immersive simulation to consolidate the use of both technical and nontechnical skills in preparing them for independent nursing practice.
To investigate students’ views on the value of extended, immersive simulation in preparing them for independent practice as registered nurses.
Cross-sectional research involving content analysis of open-ended survey questions. The study involved comments from 287 final year nursing students conducted at a university in Western Australia.
Themes related to critical thinking, the role of the registered nurse, communication, time management, teamwork and leadership were identified through the content analysis. Students believed exposure to extended simulation facilitated development of the essential skills required to practise independently and helped them prepare for the role of a registered nurse. Many expressed the wish for this type of simulation to be included throughout all years of the nursing curriculum.
Students need experience in clinical situations where they are challenged to use multiple skills simultaneously to develop the expertise required of registered nurses. The ability to practise independently, and take responsibility for decisions made in complex ward conditions, is not currently required of students on clinical placements. Simulation is a way to fill this void in nursing education to enable students to experience the full role of a registered nurse.
Based on our findings nursing students believed that extended, immersive simulation was an effective method of supporting students as they undertake the full responsibilities of registered nurses to enable them to be safe and effective practitioners on commencement of the registered nurse role.