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Poster presented at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (2008, Jan.), San Diego, CA

Nursing Students’ Perspectives on the Role of High-fidelity Manikin-Based Simulation in the Nursing Curriculum: Preliminary Data


Barbara R. McKee, RN, MS, CEN1 & David L. Rodgers, EdD, NREMT-P2

1 CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, Charleston, WV

2 Marshall University Graduate School of Education and Professional Development, South Charleston, WV


Introduction – The use of high-fidelity manikin-based simulation is becoming a fixture in many nursing school curriculums. Organizations such as the National League for Nursing have produced reports detailing how to implement simulation-based education programs in undergraduate nursing. This study examined the nursing students’ perspectives on where they thought high-fidelity simulation would work best in their curriculum. This approach is unique among current published studies as it concentrates on the student perspective of simulation across the entirety of the undergraduate curriculum.  


Methods – 20 senior nursing students from four different nursing programs, including both 2-year and 4-year programs, participated in an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) course that utilized a high-fidelity manikin-based patient simulator. None of the students had worked with a high-fidelity manikin prior to the ACLS class. After working with the manikin for two days in the ACLS class and receiving an in depth tour and discussion of the simulation center, the students participated in a discussion on patient simulation. Quantitative data regarding the use of high-fidelity patient simulation in their curriculum was gathered. Students rated the usefulness of simulation in each class in their curriculum using a five-point scale, with 1 being not useful at all and 5 being extremely useful. Additionally, qualitative data (both written and verbal) were collected. The qualitative data will be reported at a later date.  

Results – The rank order for the 10 highest rated classes where nursing students felt high-fidelity simulation would be the most useful to their education were: Advanced Nursing Care in Adult Health and Illness (mean 4.97); Maternity Nursing (4.90); Pediatric Nursing Care in Health and Illness (4.85); Basic Health Assessment and Nursing Care (4.79); Basic Nursing Care in Adult Health and Illness (4.70); Advanced Health Assessment and Nursing Care (4.65); Preceptorship in Nursing Care (4.43); Psychiatric Nursing (4.20); Family Nursing (4.00); and Pharmacology for Nurses (3.86). Note - Course names were consolidated across the four nursing programs where appropriate.   

Discussion/conclusions – The senior nursing students participating in this study saw substantial usefulness for high-fidelity patient simulation across much of their curriculum. As these were graduating nurses at the end of their final semester, they had the opportunity to reflect back on their nursing education to gauge the impact simulation may have had on their education. Students rated simulation as a valued addition to the class at the 4.0 level or higher in 9 of the 19 classes surveyed. This represents a broad spectrum of classes for simulation use that nursing curriculum planners should consider when implementing simulation in the curriculum.