Effect of Sequence of Simulated and Clinical Practicum Learning Experiences on Clinical Competency of Nursing Students
Jamie Hansen, PhD (c), RN, CNE
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Although simulation has been increasingly used as a supplement to traditional clinical experiences, it is unknown if the order in which simulated and clinical practicum learning experiences occur affects nursing students’ clinical competency development. This study used a crossover design to compare the effects of two different blocked sequences of simulated and clinical practicum learning experiences on clinical competency development during participants’ first medical surgical practicum course. Participants were randomly assigned to a 7-week block of simulated learning experiences followed by a 7-week block of traditional clinical experiences in a health care setting or the reverse sequence. Using the Creighton Competency Evaluation Instrument (CCEI) students’ clinical competency was measured three times: At the completion of each 7-week block of learning experiences and at the end of the semester during a final high fidelity simulation. The key finding of this study was that there were no significant differences in the CCEI total scale or subscale scores across time points. The use of blocked sequences of simulated and clinical practicum learning experiences may help address barriers in delivery of traditional clinical education faced by schools of nursing such as increased student enrollment and lack of clinical site availability, however more research is needed.
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