The Role of Simulation in Nursing Education: A Regulatory Perspective

Suling Li, PhD, RN
National Council of State Boards of Nursing

In this presentation, Suling Li discusses the role of simulation in nursing education, the rise of technology in learning and the trend toward outcome-based nursing education. Furthermore, she points out that the rationale behind trends includes overcoming faculty shortages and the lack of clinical sites.

The strengths and weaknesses of virtual patient simulations are discussed, and a key question posed is: What is the role of simulation in nursing education in relation to clinical education? Potential advantages include:

  • Reduces training variability and increases standardization
  • Guarantees experience for every student
  • Can be customized for individualized learning
  • Is more accurate reflective learning especially with HPS
  • Is student-centered learning
  • Allows independent critical-thinking and decision-making, and delegation
  • Allows Immediate feedback
  • Offers opportunity to practice rare and critical events
  • Can be designed and manipulated
  • Allows calibration and update
  • Can be reproduced
  • Occurs on schedule
  • Offers opportunities to make and learn from mistakes
  • Is safe and respectful for patients
  • Allows deliberative practice
  • Uses the concept of experiential learning

Li also explores the value of other nursing education options as well as the goal of NCSBN’s Research Initiative on Simulation: “To explore the role of high fidelity simulation in basic nursing education in relation to real clinical experience.”