Providing high-quality clinical experiences for students has been a perennial challenge for nursing programs. Short patient length of stays, high patient acuity, disparities in learning experiences, and the amount of time instructors spend supervising skills have long been issues. More recently, other challenges have emerged: more programs competing for limited clinical sites, faculty shortages, facilities not granting students access to electronic medical records, and patient safety initiatives that decrease the number of students allowed on a patient unit or restrict their activity to observing care.
- The use of this technology accelerated in nursing programs in the mid-2000s as faculty realized that simulation allowed students to practice skills, critical thinking, and clinical decision making in a safe environment.
- With the challenges of providing high-quality clinical experiences and the availability of high-fidelity manikins, the use of simulation in nursing education has grown rapidly.
- Simulated clinical experiences include simulation scenarios involved medium- or high-fidelity manikins, standardized patients, role playing, skills stations and computer-based critical thinking simulations.