Traditional versus high-fidelity simulation-based learning to teach vital sign assessment

by Leach, Jane L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 140 pages; 3371721


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.

AdviserJanet Lessner
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducation Health Sciences; Adult education; Nursing; Educational technology
Publication Number3371721

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.