The Day That Everything Changed: Perfecting Of Skills Prior To Practicing On People
I remember the day vividly, I was at the National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) convention as a delegate for the Minnesota Board of Nursing. The results of the national simulation survey were announced. I just sat there, stunned. The person next to me asked “what did you expect”? I remember thinking, I don’t know, but not these results. I remained siting during the questions period, few questions were asked, and we were speechless. I continued to sit. The hall emptied.
I am rarely speechless.
After a few minutes I looked around and realized the room had emptied. The presenters provided us with the supplemental journal. Not everyone was interested and left their copies behind. I collected the copies of the journals for my faculty, their world would change too. Plus, I am a notoriously resourceful leader when it comes to gifts (HA)!
I was shocked because “this study provides strong evidence supporting the use of simulation as a substitute for up to 50% of traditional clinical time and makes a substantial contribution to the literature in both nursing regulation and education” (Smiley, Alexander, Kardong-Edgren, & Jeffries, 2014, p. S36). The research design was tight with a control group, one group substituted 25% of clinical hours with simulation, and one group substituted 50% of clinical hours with simulation. Ten programs participated from across the United States with over 650 students. The groups were evaluated and compared during the educational program, at the end of the program, and six months into practice for knowledge, clinical competency, critical thinking and readiness for practice. There was no statistical difference between the groups. These results changed everything. There was great relevancy for nursing education and education in general. When done right, simulating work in a lab setting with evaluation, prepares students at the same level of competency as clinical or work setting experiences. Imagine a workforce ready graduate performing in their position when they graduate. Imagine expanding admissions because suddenly the clinical placement can be replaced by up to 50% by simulation. The way we serve students and the community has just expanded, significantly.
When I came to Rochester over two years ago and began the evaluation process of need for programming and facilities it became obvious that WSU was strong in the community and a commitment of new program relevant facilities was urgent. One area of strength and potential growth was graduate education programming. The results of the study are relevant to graduate programming and educational curricula that expect students to interact with people in their post-graduation careers.
I remember beginning a process of visiting with faculty, community members, and architects to determine next, best steps for developing a multi-discipline simulation center in Rochester. We collaborated, explored available options in the region, and found that the center was a resource that the community needed. The dream for a facility that will help WSU students serve the Rochester community for the next 100 years has launched. We believe in service. We believe in quality education. We believe that people deserve the very best care. Indeed, perfecting skills prior to working with people is key to education to work transition success.
The world of education has changed, it is time for us to address the change here.
Smiley, R. A., Alexander, M., Kardong-Edgren, S., & Jeffries, P. R. (2014). The NCSBN National Simulation Study: A Longitudinal, Randomized, Controlled Study Replacing Clinical Hours with Simulation in Prelicensure Nursing Education. Journal of Nursing Regulation 5(2), pp. S3-S66. Found at https://www.ncsbn.org/JNR_Simulation_Supplement.pdf