Friday, November 21, 2014

Can Simulation hours replace Clinical hours? The NCSBN National Simulation Study gives us an answer

Anyone who has worked in Nursing education knows the problem: Clinical sites are hard to find, good clinical instructors are expensive and students' clinical experiences vary greatly. We've tried to supplement clinical hours with increased time in the Simulation Lab but for those schools who adhere strictly to evidence based learning, there was no definitive research proving Simulation hours are as valuable as Clinical ones. 

Now there is. 

Thank you, National Council of State Boards of Nursing for doing a "longitudinal, randomized, controlled study replacing clinical hours with simulation in prelincensure Nursing education." This National Simulation Study followed three groups of students: 1. A control group who was allowed 10% of clinical time in simulations 2. a group with 25% of simulation instead of clinical hours and 3. a group with 50% simulation time instead of clinical hours. After 4 years the results are in! 

Drum roll please....

It turns out, there is no significant difference in pass rates for students who spent 50% of their clinical time in simulations. Even after the students' were settled in the workplace, they showed no difference in competency at six weeks, three months or six months. 

So, let's hope this is put into policy soon and the burden of finding clinical locations is lessened. And don't forget -- if your students are spending all that time in simulations, they should definitely be using an EHR system to mimic a realistic workflow. Shoot us a quick email if you'd like to review ours (information@ehrtutor.com). 

Happy simulating!