University of South Carolina

Nursing students part of national study

Nursing students at the University of South Carolina will be monitored from their first day at Carolina into their first year of work after graduation as part of a national study to examine best practices in simulation education.

USC’s College of Nursing is one of 10 schools chosen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to participate in the simulation study.

A clinical simulation lab at USC allows nursing students to learn through simulation suites, both in groups and as individuals. The lab features a hospital-like setting with beds, medical equipment and exam tables, along with manikins that can mimic patients’ conditions and symptoms.

The study’s goals are to highlight currently known best practices in simulation use, evaluate how students learn when simulated environments are substituted 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.

“We are excited and honored to be a part of this landmark simulation study,” said Dr. Peggy Hewlett, dean of the USC College of Nursing. “In a time of faculty shortages and clinical-site capacity, nursing educators must design and implement quality simulation experiences for our students.

Nursing students from five baccalaureate programs and five associate-degree programs throughout the U.S. will be monitored in the study by a team from each site. Faculty on the USC College of Nursing team are Susan Poslusny, Erin McKinney, Lonnie Rosier, David Hodson, Katherine Chappell, Joynelle Rivers and Sabra Smith.

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 use over the next two years.

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 post graduation. The study will continue after graduation to evaluate how new graduate nurses are able to apply the knowledge they have acquired during nursing school, providing the missing link that has not been considered 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.

“Our faculty are committed to clinical simulation and fully acknowledge the importance of research and evaluation in order to measure the effectiveness of this type of innovative teaching methodology,” Hewlett said.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 01/14/11 @ 10:25 AM | Updated: 01/14/11 @ 10:26 AM | Permalink