When simulations are incorporated within nursing curriculums, they act as stand-alone activities that are typically ‘added to’ the curriculum rather than being embedded. The evidence gained from this study suggests that to maximize the potential of simulations, facilitators should go beyond the single-event based tactic and explore ways to:
- Develop a comprehensive approach, and
- Explore ways of embedding these comprehensive approaches into the overall curriculum
Forty-four second-year nursing students who completed two simulation sessions were asked to complete a post-simulation questionnaire (n=33) and write reflections on their simulation experience (n=44). Data was analysed using grounded theory coding.
By integrating simulation as a stand-alone event it may possibly impede the learning of our emerging mental health practitioners. If students are put directly into clinical practice without exposure to simulation, it can produce high levels of anxiety as they may not have the necessary basic mental health skills needed to succeed in their clinical facility.
Exposing students to simulation is an excellent immersive approach to learning. However, this needs to be done in the correct sequence of educational events for students to gain the most benefit. The model, which was developed in response to the findings of this study, offers a new way of understanding the importance of programme integration for mental health simulations.
Key words: Embedding Simulation; undergraduate nursing students; mental health.