Grant recipients will receive access to Sentinel U’s new Advanced Practice Series® to conduct research measuring virtual simulation’s impact on nursing education. 

WATERBURY, Conn. (December 6, 2022) Sentinel U®, a leading provider of comprehensive web-based simulation education solutions for nurses and healthcare professionals, today announced it has selected four projects across the U.S. and Australia for its second annual Sentinel U Nursing Simulation Research Grant (SUNSRG) program.

This year’s program will utilize the company’s Advanced Practice Series® virtual simulation. The researchers will seek to validate the product’s effectiveness in strengthening diagnostic acumen and patient care management knowledge, while assessing its viability as a tool for nurse practitioners (NPs) to demonstrate competency prior to entering a clinical setting.

“This will be one of the first studies conducted specifically for advanced practice learners, which will provide the education industry with valuable insight and help set the precedent for its future use in advanced practice academic programs on a wide scale,” said Jeffrey Caplan, president of Sentinel U. “We are confident our Advanced Practice Series® platform will have positive outcomes on the learning experience.”

Each SUNSRG grant recipient will receive in-kind access to the recently launched Advanced Practice Series®, which offers authentic virtual encounters that enable advanced practice nurse practitioner (NP) students, physician assistant (PA) students, and undergraduate medical students to hone their clinical judgment and decision-making skills necessary to make accurate diagnoses and establish proper plans of care.

The grants will allow investigators to utilize the company’s cutting-edge virtual simulation products to conduct valuable research in advanced nursing education:

  • University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Florida — University of Central Florida will conduct a multi-site study with Texas A&M University and University of Texas at Arlington, the largest online nursing program in the country. Led by Mindi Anderson, D., APRN, CNP-PC, CNE, CHSE-A, ANEF, FAAN, director of the Healthcare Simulation Programs and interim associate dean for Simulation and Immersive Learning at UCF, the multi-site study will research whether time spent using Sentinel U’s Advanced Practice Series® relates to improved clinical reasoning scores among nurse practitioner students. A combined total of 240 students are expected to participate in this multi-site study.
  • Bradley University (BU) in Peoria, Illinois — Katherine Sarsfield, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP- C, PMHNP- BC, assistant professor and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program director, will compare learner pre- and post-test survey scores in BU’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) programs. Sarsfield will monitor perception changes in interprofessional education (IPE) partnerships, mindfulness and awareness following virtual simulation activities using Sentinel U’s Advanced Practice Series®.
  • Queensland University of Technology in Australia — Lori Delaney, Ph.D., RN, MIHM, MN, PG Dip Crit Care, PG Cert Ed., BN, Nursing lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, will use Sentinel U’s Advanced Practice Series® to explore virtual simulation’s impact on the learning experiences and skill development of registered nurses undertaking the masters of nurse practitioner degree program.
  • South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, South Dakota — Brandi Pravecek, DNP, CNP, FNP-BC, clinical assistant professor at SDSU, will use Sentinel U’s Advanced Practice Series® to determine the impact of screen-based simulation on family practice nurse practitioner students in a rural or frontier setting. The study will determine and compare how nurse practitioner students perceive their preparedness in a traditional clinical environment, face-to-face simulated clinical environment, and in a screen-based simulation environment.

“We are excited to begin our work with this dynamic group of researchers as we aim to uncover virtual simulation’s impact on advanced practice programs while highlighting diverse voices from all levels of the nursing profession,” said Vice President of Clinical Learning Resources at Sentinel U, Laura Gonzalez, Ph.D., APRN, CNE, CHSE-A, ANEF, FAAN.

Sentinel U’s second annual simulation research grant program follows the success of its 2021 program, which awarded grants to a diverse group of researchers across the U.S., including two HBCU research teams at Prairie View A&M University and University of the District of Columbia, as well as Texas Woman’s University, the largest state-supported university primarily for women in the U.S.

Proposals were reviewed by an independent committee of esteemed professionals, including the University of Michigan’s Michelle Aebersold, Ph.D., RN, CHSE, FAAN; the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Salam Daher, Ph.D.; the American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Post University’s Kristine Skalsky, Ed.D., MSN, RN; and Cynthia Foronda Ph.D, RN, CNE, CHSE, ANEF, FAAN, from the University of Miami. Upon completion of the study, researchers agree to submit a report of their findings, including outcomes and statistical significance where appropriate.

An award-winning industry disruptor building digital learning resources and virtual simulations for academic/professional settings since 2015, Sentinel U was named 2022 “EdTech Company of the Year” by the Global Business Tech Awards. The company also was recognized by The Stevie® Awards as a 2022 Gold winner for Best Virtual Learning Solution and received the 2022 APEX Award for “Publication Excellence” for its rebrand campaign.