Julie Bowen-Withington

301 – Simulation technology in nursing education: Where to from here?

This presentation outlines a current research study concerning the use of simulation in undergraduate nursing education. Its purpose is to stimulate debate on the uncritical way simulation has been adopted, and questions the notion that simulation is always good – to the extent that it is now being argued that it can replace clinical hours. A summary of published research, forming the basis of my doctoral work and research design, will be presented, along with an opportunity for discussion.

Historically, simulation and its associated technology has thrived, and evidence of its effectiveness as a teaching and learning tool is well supported in scholarly literature. Nevertheless, the literature is largely silent on the question of professional and commercial interests which may influence simulation use.

The study draws on methodology which will enable investigation of how knowledge and power sustains simulation as a teaching modality. Both written and narrative texts are used as data sources for analysis and include scholarly literature, publications, and naturally occurring texts that surround simulation. Other sources include data generated from interviews.

This presentation will invite discussion about knowledge and power relationships influencing the use of simulation in undergraduate nursing education in New Zealand. Critiquing the use of simulation can ultimately support nursing educators in shaping and planning simulation for optimal clinical skill development.

Key words: simulation; discourse analysis; nursing education; clinical skill development.