Championing Change in Simulation Through Student Engagement
Sheri Wright, M.Ed., BN, RN, CHSE; Marie Laenen, BN, RN; Shannon Still, SPN -- Lethbridge College, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
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- International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL)
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Low levels of nursing student engagement have been linked to heavy academic work loads that limit extracurricular activity. In a quest to meaningfully engage nursing students we developed the Student Crew in Simulation volunteer group. We were overwhelmed by the interest and number of applications we received to volunteer with us. Students were looking for engagement opportunities that reflected their interests, provided networking opportunities, and that would identify them as leaders among their peers. After the first semester we asked the Student Crew in Simulation to evaluate their experiences. The volunteers identified becoming a contact point between faculty and students, described a significant growth in self-confidence, mentorship skills, collaborative practice, ability to champion change and translate knowledge from theory to practice. They identified developing leadership skills and feelings of empowerment related to their volunteer experiences as well as being able to help peers connect theory to practice in relatable ways. These students were also able to increase the collective understanding of simulation learning and endorse its value simply by being involved in simulation activities and events. In our pilot year Student Crew in Simulation had just four volunteers, but this year we have grown to eleven volunteers due to student demand and increased on-campus opportunities. Our volunteers commit to a minimum of one semester and many have committed to continue with us for two or more years. We have now partnered with other areas on campus to offer diverse opportunities, reinforce collaborative practice, and foster a student engaged campus culture.
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