October 10, 2011

New students at SoN participate in landmark simulation study

A person having a heart attack, another going into labor and a third with a skin rash are typical “patients” for students in the simulation lab at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Now students in the traditional 2013 class have the chance to care for such patients—including Harvey the cardiopulmonary simulator, Sim Man, Noelle with newborn and Sim Baby—as part of a landmark nationwide study.

One hundred and three students from the 117-person class signed up to take part in the study, which explores the role of simulation in pre-licensure clinical nursing education. Johns Hopkins is one of 10 schools chosen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to participate.

The study will examine the use of simulated clinical experiences as a replacement for a portion of the time spent in traditional clinical education. Participation in the study lasts for two years, from fall through graduation. Students are divided into three groups: 50 percent simulation, 25 percent simulation and less than or equal to 10 percent simulation, which is the percentage in the current traditional curriculum.

Joyce Vazzano, an instructor in Acute and Chronic Care, is the project coordinator.

Vazzano said that as part of the study, the debriefing after each simulation experience has been redesigned for meaningful learning that draws on the effective, creative and critical thinking processes. “We want to make the students’ participation in this study an exciting and meaningful learning experience,” she said.