Effectiveness of simulation on promoting student nurses management skills

Hourican, Susan, McGrath, Mary, Lyng, Colette, McMahon, Caron and Lehwaldt, Daniela (2008) Effectiveness of simulation on promoting student nurses management skills. International Journal of Clinical Skills, 2 (1). pp. 20-25.


The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of simulation on promoting student nurses management skills. A review of the literature suggests that newly qualified nurses are not adequately prepared for their role as staff nurse. Deficits in management skills are the main areas of concern for both newly qualified staff and hospital; employers. Consequently, all involved in students’ clinical learning environment are charged with the responsibility to devise sound innovative and effective teaching methodologies to prepare students for their role as staff nurse upon registration. A simulation exercise was conducted in Dublin City University by the Clinical Education Centre project team for fourth year general undergraduate student nurses. The main focus of the simulation was to promote consolidation of knowledge in the areas of organisation and management of patient caseload, clinical practice, and communication, legal, ethical and professional issues. A qualitative and quantitative approach was used for this study. Ninety students participated in the simulation exercise and 68 completed the questionnaire. Six focus group interviews were conducted with 15 students in each group. Results identified that simulation is a realistic and enjoyable way of learning and helped prepare students for their clinical role as staff nurse. Students indicated that they felt the exercise had helped them to consolidate their previous knowledge, felt more confident and were able to determine their own learning needs. However, participating in the simulation exercise was also seen as a stressful experience for some students. In conclusion, simulation used as an educational strategy running parallel and closely linked with clinical experience, is a powerful tool to prepare students for their role as staff nurse. It allows students to reflect on and learn from their strengths and weakness; promoting improvement on their management skills and enhancing nursing services.

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