Georgia Washbourne

806 – Registered nurses experiences of in situ simulation and clinical skill development


This presentation is from research conducted by one of my students for her Master’s degree.  This topic has not been the subject of a large amount of investigation to date.

The benefits of simulation in undergraduate nursing education are well-described. An area which is less well understood is that of in situ simulation and its value with respect to clinical skills enhancement for Registered Nurses.

This presentation reports on a small qualitative exploratory study which investigated Registered Nurses’ experiences of in situ simulation as part of their professional development in the clinical environment. The study’s findings will be presented in the context of differentiating between ‘simulation’ and ‘in situ’ simulation, and an operational definition of ‘clinical skills’.

The findings from thematic analysis of the interview data were that participants described the realism, transparency and emotional responses evoked in the in situ simulation as facilitating an improvement in their psychomotor skills, communication skills, and clinical decision-making. Additionally, it was noted that the benefits of the experience were different for participants depending on the previous clinical experience of the nurse.

While the study was limited in scope, the findings – tentative at this point – potentially have implications for educators facilitating in situ simulation for graduate nurses. Further investigation is required into the development of in situ simulation which incorporates an understanding of the learner’s positioning within a framework of knowledge and skills development. Such an approach would facilitate the incorporation of a multiplicity of learner-centred outcomes in the simulation experience. 

Key words: in situ simulation; qualitative exploratory study.