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NCSBN Embarks on Landmark Multi-Site Simulation Study to Examine the Use of Simulation in Nursing Education


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December 23, 2010 - The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) announces the launch of a landmark, national, multi-site study of simulation use in prelicensure nursing programs. Beginning in the fall of 2011, the NCSBN Simulation Study will monitor students from five associate degree nursing programs and five baccalaureate degree nursing programs in the U.S. from their first day of nursing school through graduation, into their first year of practice.

The NCSBN Simulation Study aims to highlight currently known best practices in simulation use; evaluate the learning occurring with various amounts of simulation substituting for clinical hours; establish key simulation standards and learning experiences in each core clinical course during the study; and evaluate new graduates’ ability to translate educational experiences into the workplace. To achieve these objectives, students from each of the 10 study sites will be randomly assigned to one of three groups: a group where up to 10 percent of the time normally spent at clinical sites will be spent in simulation, a group where 25 percent of the time normally spent at clinical sites will be spent in simulation or a group where 50 percent of the time normally spent at clinical sites will be spent in simulation.

“We are thrilled to launch this innovative and groundbreaking research. A study in simulation of this magnitude has never been done before,” said Maryann Alexander, PhD, RN, chief officer, Nursing Regulation, NCSBN. “We are extremely excited to be partnering with outstanding nursing schools who work tirelessly to prepare the nurses of tomorrow. Their participation in this study is instrumental to the future of nursing education.” 

The NCSBN Simulation Study is being conducted in three phases. Phase I began in January 2010 with a national survey of simulation use in prelicensure nursing curriculum that was distributed to U.S. nursing programs. The findings from this survey are available in the October issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

During Phase II, NCSBN reviewed applications from numerous U.S. nursing programs to serve as study sites. In November 2010, 10 schools were chosen, including: 

* College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nev.;
* Florida International University, Miami, Fla.;
* Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Indianapolis, Ind.;
* Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.;
* Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.;
* Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Lancaster, Pa.;
* Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, Kansas City, Mo.;
* University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.;
* University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss.; and
* Washington State University, Spokane, Wash.

Each study site consists of a Study Team, which is comprised of faculty and staff from the school. All 10 Study Teams will meet three times over the course of the next six months to learn about facilitating simulation, debriefing techniques, and using assessment tools and ratings. Study teams will also establish the curriculum that all study sites will utilize over the next two years based on results from a national curriculum survey that was sent to clinicians and nursing schools. The first of these meetings took place in Chicago, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2010.

Study Teams will monitor students daily, upon completion of each clinical course, after one year in the nursing program, upon graduation and finally, one year postgraduation. The research gathered by the Study Teams will be reported to NCSBN, which will assess nursing knowledge, clinical competence and student satisfaction with the education they received.

During the final phase of the NCSBN Simulation Study, NCSBN will evaluate how well the new graduate nurses are able to apply the knowledge they have acquired during nursing school to their practice as new nurses, providing the missing link that has never been studied in previous simulation studies. Researchers will examine and compare clinical and simulation experiences, competencies and level of practice. The follow-up of graduates into their first year of practice will focus on retention of new nurses and clinical judgment after graduation.

According to Jennifer Hayden, MSN, RN, associate, research, NCSBN, and simulation study project director, “The information that will be gained from this research is desperately needed by nursing regulators and educators, and will impact the future of nursing education. The project team and participating schools have overwhelming enthusiasm for this project, and we are all looking forward to this very important and exciting endeavor ahead of us.”

Source:  NCSBN