Methodological Considerations in Simulation Research: Constructing Rigorous Investigations to Advance Practice
Cantrell, Mary Ann
Franklin, Ashley, E.
Gilbert, Gregory E.
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Findings of the recent NCSBN study support the further development and evaluation of simulation as an effective teaching-learning strategy in healthcare education. There is agreement about the need for simulation-based research to advance the science of nursing education and specifically to explicate simulation as an effective teaching-learning strategy to influence practice among all levels of learners. Many relevant gaps in the literature and research opportunities exist pertaining to simulation as pedagogy. Concomitantly, many academic educators are unprepared to manage the rigors of designing and implementing a simulation-based research study. The field of simulation-based research now requires complex, robust, intervention studies that examine skill development and skill transfer from simulation to actual patient care settings to support positive health outcomes in patients. While standard research textbooks provide the majority of the methodological information to conduct studies, there are some challenges unique to conducting rigorous simulation-based research. This workshop will focus on the current state-of-the science in simulation-based nursing research, as well as areas in simulation-based research that require increased rigor to systematically develop the evidence base. The workshop will focus on five elements in constructing a research study: 1) developing the conceptual basis of the study with an emphasis on the role of a theoretical framework in all phases of the research process, 2) maintaining intervention fidelity, 3) choosing reliable and valid instruments that match the identified study outcomes, 4) determining the unit of analysis and sample size, and 5) preserving the ethical integrity of the research process.