Nursing Students’ Perceptions of Learning Outcomes throughout Simulation Experiences

Christine Hunter, Patricia K. Ravert*, Brigham Young University

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Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine undergraduate nursing students’ perceptions regarding learning outcomes developed during simulation experience throughout the nursing program. Students from four different semesters completed surveys following their simulation experience to report their perceptions of learning outcomes (improving communication, increasing nursing skills, understanding classroom material, developing critical thinking, and facilitating teamwork). Results indicated that each semester, students rated increasing nursing skills and developing critical thinking as two of the top three learning outcomes obtained during simulation experiences. Students perceived that developing the learning outcome of facilitating teamwork increased more in later semesters. Improving communication and understanding classroom material were not rated as frequently.

“Simulation is the artificial representation of a phenomenon or activity” (Larew, Lessan, Spunt, Foster, & Covington, 2006, p. 17). Simulation has been used since the 1930s to train individuals in aviation and the military (Broussard, Myers, & Lemoine, 2009). Commercial aviation, nuclear power production, and the military are some of the industries that continue to use simulation for training. Risks are associated with these industries, however safety and reliability are expected. Similar to the public’s demand for safety in aviation is the demand for safety in healthcare (Gaba, 2004). The healthcare industry has also utilized simulation in order to ensure safety and reliability, despite the associated risks involved. Medical errors, patient safety, professional competency, and new technologies are some of the factors that have contributed to the rise of simulation in medical education (Issenberg, McGaghie, Petrusa, Gordon, & Scalese, 2005). Simulation, using safe structured learning experiences, can be offered consistently to all students in order to meet learning outcomes (Larew et al., 2006). What are students’ perceptions regarding learning outcomes in the simulation experiences in a nursing program?

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