New Class Participates in Landmark Simulation Study

New Class Participates in Landmark Simulation Study

One of Ten Schools Chosen

by Meredith Lidard

Harvey the SimulatorA patient having a heart attack, another going into labor, and a third with a skin rash is a typical day 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 high-maintenance patients as part of a landmark nationwide simulation study taking place at the School.

One hundred and three students from the 117-person class (88%) are taking part in the study, which explores the role of simulation in pre-licensure clinical nursing education. The School is one of ten schools chosen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to participate.

The study examines 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 2011 through graduation in May 2013. Students are divided into three groups: 50% simulation, 25% simulation, and less than/equal to 10% simulation, which is the percentage in the current traditional curriculum.

Simulation gives students the hands-on experience without the anxiety of working with actual human beings, and the environment matches their learning style, explains School of Nursing faculty member and project coordinator, Joyce Vazzano, MSN, RN, CRNP. “They’re excited to care for multiple patients in one day and look forward to applying theory to practice,” she says.

Vazzano adds that as part of the study, the debriefing method that takes place after each simulation experience has been redesigned to promote 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 explains.

Want to learn more about simulation at the School of Nursing? Check out Harvey the Simulator’s blog at

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