There remains insufficient evidence in the educational research literature regarding the extent to which simulated learning experiences used as a teaching method result in improved learning outcomes among nursing students. Much of the current simulation research in nursing education has concentrated on perceived or potential benefits of using simulated learning experiences rather than on the evaluation of outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the differential effect of a simulated learning experience and traditional instruction to improve competency on the assessment of vital signs among sophomore nursing students. Data was collected using a descriptive, cross-sectional posttest-only non-experimental design. The convenience sample of sophomore nursing students enrolled in two consecutive Health Assessment courses consisted of a combined sample size of 165. Results from a chi square analysis indicated no statistically significant difference between the two groups of learners in their competence to access vital signs. This finding indicates that participation in a traditional learning experience may be as good as participation in a simulated learning experience. As one contemplates these finding within the context of medicine to first "do not harm" the results may be reassuring to nurse educators. This study extends the literature on simulation by providing evidence for the importance of measuring clinical learning outcomes and the usefulness of high fidelity manikins and clinical scenarios to collect outcome data on competence. This study used a Competency Validation Tool to measure competence in the assessment of vital signs. This study illustrates how simulation may provide educators with a teaching method that adheres to adult learning principles and proves useful to diagnose knowledge deficits among nursing students.
|Subjects||Education Health Sciences; Adult education; Nursing; Educational technology|
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