The Time is Right for Web-Based Clinical Simulation in Nursing Education

Robyn P. Cant, Simon J. Cooper
Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 2015, Vol. 5, No. 11


E-simulation involves goal-based role play using digital simulations that take place via a computer screen. Learners interact with the program via multi-media applications such as animation and video, graphics, sound, vision, and text through the use of advanced Web authoring tools. When the simulation is Web-based (via a remote server), this allows data collection and real-time feedback. We aimed to explore how the Internet has been utilized for the purposes of e-simulation in healthcare education.

Key Points

  • E-simulation involves learners in goal-based role-play using digital simulations that take place via a computer screen. These programs depict real-life clinical case situations to engage the learner in problem-solving.
  • Some studies of e-simulation (with programs based either locally on a personal computer, or on the worldwide web) have been shown to be largely as effective as other teaching methods in teaching clinical skills. For example, a randomized controlled trial involving first-year nursing students in learning pre- and post-operative skills on a computer screen or in a skills laboratory had similar learning outcomes
  • The time is right for greater distribution and sharing of Web-based simulation resources for teaching in both undergraduate and at professional levels.  Web-based simulation programs are a valuable resource that can be used in combination with traditional forms of laboratory and classroom teaching, in order to facilitate the development of students’ clinical competence.