Perceptions of How Simulation Affects Transition into Professional Nursing Practice
Thomas, Christine M.
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High fidelity clinical simulation is becoming a commonly used teaching/learning method in nursing education. However, little is known as to how it affects transition into the professional nursing role. The central focus of this qualitative descriptive study was to explore perceptions of nursing alumni, who completed a simulation elective course during their undergraduate career, and their transition into the professional role. The purpose of this study was to discover whether aspects of high fidelity simulation experiences impacted transition into the practice role of the registered nurse. The research questions included; how did the simulation course/method affect practice as a new graduate; and how did simulation experiences affect growth as a new nurse? Fourteen alumni were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Alumni ranged from six months to two years post-graduation from an undergraduate BSN program. Six themes emerged: comfort in critiquing, theory to practice, confidence, organized communication, big picture of patient care, and independent practice without supervision. Alumni identified that they used their simulation experiences as a basis for decision making, initiating interventions, interdisciplinary communication, critiquing situations for better outcomes, and taking on the responsibilities of the RN immediately following graduation and continued growth. Alumni recommended that simulation be further integrated into the nursing program.