Challenges Associated with Bringing High Fidelity Simulation to Rural Campuses
Williams, Amber Proctor
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Session presented on Sunday, July 26, 2015: Due to advances in nursing education, and in response to the increasing complexity of patient care today, high fidelity simulation has been incorporated into nursing curricula. Today, nursing schools are challenged by shortages of faculty, clinical sites, and capital. These are more evident in rural areas. Simulation is a learning environment that contributes to the students' ability to gain knowledge, attain skills, ensure patient safety, and build confidence. Simulation allows for specific learning experiences that correlate with content to enhance the overall learning environment of the student. Simulated experiences are more critical than ever due to the limited availability of clinical sites, especially in a rural setting, shorter hospital stays, and decreased availability of patient selection in the clinical site (Powell, 2013). It is also an effective educational strategy for low volume/high risk patient care scenarios, which are more prevalent in rural areas, where there is increased risk of harm to the patient. However, simulation education requires substantial capital and ongoing investment. Implementing simulation on a distance based rural campus posed many of the challenges previously mentioned, but also had limited resources. Additional barriers faced by this rural campus included: finding appropriate sized space, renovation costs, time to renovate, cost of simulators and technology associated with their use, and sheer scope of the project with the fewest resources. A strategic plan was developed to overcome the challenges. Detailed strategies were implemented with administrative support and a development team. Transformational leaders and the simulation team developed a strategic plan and timeline for soliciting funding and implementing a simulation lab on the rural campus. To date, over half a million in grant funding has been awarded for the simulation lab and plans are in motion for its construction.