As American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences student Amber Kool got deeper into her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Educational Leadership program, the former educator and current director of curriculum and instruction at Arizona College of Nursing came to a realization. Virtual clinical simulation was transforming her own education and she wanted to offer the same to students at Arizona College.
Bringing Virtual Simulation Tools to Arizona College
Throughout 2019 and 2020, Amber became familiar with the virtual nursing simulation tools incorporated into her DNP program at American Sentinel College—tools created by Sentinel U. She saw the benefits of this method of learning and wanted to incorporate Sentinel U tools into Arizona College’s programs too.
“I feel very strongly that virtual simulation is a tool that educators need to be using,” Amber says. “In my DNP capstone research, I found that nursing students don’t always learn the high-level cognitive skills they need like prioritization and delegation.” Under the guidance of American Sentinel faculty member Dr. Kris Skalsky, who is doing a national study that identifies clinical judgment in nursing students, Amber is studying the effectiveness of virtual simulation in preparing nurses for real-world scenarios and the impact on clinical judgment. Amber’s DNP capstone project was titled, “Virtual Simulation: Impact on Clinical Judgment.”
Learning in a Safe, Risk-Free Environment
Amber set to work incorporating Sentinel U’s Sentinel City® and Sentinel Town® virtual simulations into Arizona College of Nursing’s pre-licensure community health course in the BSN program. Going forward, Arizona College will also incorporate all Sentinel U virtual simulation products into its BSN program.
“As an educator, I’ve seen students use traditional simulation with varying degrees of success, but I’ve found that virtual simulation truly prepares students to be independent decision makers who are able to come up with the ‘why’ of their decisions and think through them carefully,” Amber says. “But it’s more than that. Nurses learn to make mistakes and learn from them without fear.”