Using Simulation during the COVID Pandemic
By David Omut, MBA
The recent COVID-19 Pandemic has caused schools of all kinds to modify how they deliver education. One of the elements that AUHS has embraced is a deeper integration of simulation in the Nursing and Pharmacy programs. This decision was made due to the evidenced-based best practices that have been documented in research. In particular, a 2014 study asked the question “Can simulation deliver the same education that standard clinical experience gives students?” (Hayden, Smiley, Alexander, Kardong-Edgren, & Jeffries, 2014).
This five-year study tracked groups of nursing students who had varying levels of simulation in their clinical education, some of which had 100% simulation with no clinical sessions. The results were staggering: Not only did all the groups doing simulation perform similarly to the traditional clinical sessions, but the higher the amount of simulation, the better the long-term results! (Hayden, Smiley, Alexander, Kardong-Edgren, & Jeffries, 2014). This clearly indicates the power of simulation to provide education that equals or exceeds traditional clinical sessions.
Nursing schools are regulated by Boards of Nursing in the States they reside in, and the California Board of Nursing has been using the above-mentioned study as a basis for additional research in the use of simulation in Nursing programs. During the COVID pandemic, the California BRN increased the amount of simulation that can be used in Nursing program as a way of dealing with reduced clinical availability, but also based on the results of this study. Here at AUHS we seek to implement evidence-based best practices in all we do, and we are happy to see that our simulation program is growing. Our goal is to positively impact ALL our students.
Hayden, J. K., Smiley, R. A., Alexander, M., Kardong-Edgren, S., & Jeffries, P. R. (2014). The NCSBN National Simulation Study: A longitudinal, randomized controlled study replacing clinical hours with simulation in prelicensure nursing education. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 5(2), S1–S64. Retrieved from www.journalnursingregulation.com/article/S2155-8256(15)30062-4/abstract