Date Published: June 19, 2018
Publisher: BioMed Central
Author(s): Ingrid Tjoflåt, Tone Knutsen Brandeggen, Ellen Synnøve Strandberg, Dagrunn Nåden Dyrstad, Sissel Eikeland Husebø.
vSim® for Nursing is the first web-based platform linked to the nursing education curriculum. It is an American simulation tool, developed in 2014 through a collaboration between Wolters Kluwer Health, Laerdal Medical and the National League for Nursing. To our knowledge, no studies have evaluated vSim® for Nursing from the nursing students’ perspective in Norway. The aim of the study was to evaluate second year Norwegian nursing students’ experiences with the virtual clinical simulation scenario in surgical nursing from vSim® for Nursing.
A descriptive and a convergent mixed method design was utilised. The method comprised a 7-item questionnaire with five open-ended questions. Sixty-five nursing students participated in the study.
The majority of Norwegian nursing students evaluated the virtual clinical scenario in surgical nursing from vSim® for Nursing useful, realistic and educational in preparing for clinical placement in surgical care. However, a small portion of the nursing students had trouble understanding and navigating the American vSim® for Nursing program.
Introducing virtual simulation tools into the nursing education encompasses faculty and student preparation, guidance from faculty members during the simulation session and support for students who are facing difficulties with the simulation program.
The bachelor of nursing programme in Norway offers theoretical and practical education. It is regulated by the national curriculum and is delivered in Norwegian . Half of the programme is comprised of studies in clinical placements, including surgical, medical and psychiatric wards, as well as in nursing homes and municipal health care services. Throughout the program, various digital learning and advanced simulation tools are used to optimise learning . The use of simulation has been shown to be beneficial and effective for nursing students in their learning processes [3–5]. Indeed, advances in technology are creating new innovative approaches, including simulation and web-based learning, which offer new pedagogic possibilities related to flexibility, interactivity and motivation for learning. The students of today expect digital, interactive and flexible solutions that help to prepare them for real-world patient care experiences . Virtual clinical simulation is an emerging technology that has been suggested to be effective in nursing education [7–10]. Virtual reality simulation is defined as ‘The use of computer technology to create an interactive three dimensional world in which the objects have a sense of spatial presence; virtual environment and virtual world are synonyms for virtual reality’ .
The study follows a descriptive and convergent mixed method design QUAN/QUAL, in which quantitative and qualitative data are collected simultaneously, with equal priority [17, 18]. The quantitative data were collected using a 7-item questionnaire with response options on a 5-point Likert scale (1 representing strongly agree and 5 representing completely disagree). Additionally, the questionnaire included five open-ended questions. The results from the open-ended questions were used to validate and enhance the results from the closed-ended questions. .
In this section, nursing students’ characteristics are first presented and then the results from the QUAN and QUAL parts of the questionnaire are presented independently.
The aim of the study was to evaluate second year nursing students’ experiences with a virtual clinical simulation scenario in surgical nursing from vSim® for Nursing.
Norwegian nursing students’ evaluations of a virtual clinical simulation in surgical nursing demonstrate that most of them found the vSim® for Nursing to be useful and educational in preparing for clinical placement in surgical care. However, a small portion of the nursing students emphasised that the English language as well as navigating in the programme presented difficulties. The study revealed that introducing virtual simulation tools in nursing education to optimise preparation for clinical placement should include adequate time for faculty and student preparation. Additionally, guidance from faculty members is critical during the simulation session as well as support for students who are encountering difficulties with the simulation programme. The nuances of language, medication names as well as clinical practices differ across countries so localisation of such products is recommended to maximise impact for transferring learning to clinical practice.