Closing the Loop Between Skills and Simulation: What Is Driving Your Undergraduate Nursing Program?
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There is a need for high quality educational programs to prepare novice nurses to work in complex health care environments. Undergraduate nursing programs historically have four main educational experiences that make up the curriculum: lecture, clinical experiences, skills learning and simulation-based education. Failure to collaborate and coordinate these educational opportunities can impede student success. The Wegmans School of Nursing offers a baccalaureate undergraduate program that serves students over four semesters. Over five years the WSON mapped lecture, clinical, skills teaching and testing with simulation-based learning activities. By mapping content and skills across the program, we developed and implemented a closed-loop process between the LRC, the Simulation Center, the UG Curriculum Committee and the clinical course faculty. This process promotes patient safety and skill retention at each level through collaboration and data tracking. This process required a curriculum and staffing redesign. The LRC curriculum begins each semester (J1-S1) with skill-based education, practice, and testing. Students then complete two to four high fidelity scenarios in the Simulation Center that reinforce skills and content. Students who do not perform as expected in any area are flagged for remediation in the LRC. This data is tracked and used to improve LRC, Simulation Center, clinical course, and program curriculums. Closing this loop has made vast improvements to our undergraduate nursing program. We are able to track knowledge gaps and develop and improve programs. Over the last five years we have improved our simulation-based competency scores as well as our NCLEX first time pass rate.