Mary Gillespie

401 – Simulation experiences for distance education students: How do we do that?

Simulation is well accepted as a beneficial teaching and learning approach within nursing education. It provides an active learning environment for students to experience clinical practice situations in which they can develop thinking, clinical judgment and clinical decision-making processes (Jeffries, 2005; Forneris, 2015).

The Advanced Certificate in Critical Care Nursing at British Columbia Institute of Technology is designed to prepare registered nurses to begin practice in Critical Care units. Students can complete the programme on campus (full-time study), or by distance education (part-time study). Within the programme, high fidelity simulation is used to support students in applying theoretical learning to patient situations, build assessment and monitoring skills, and to develop clinical decision-making processes required for critical care nursing practice. While onsite facilities allow the faculty to provide high fidelity simulation experiences for students who could travel to campus, we were challenged to provide similar learning experiences for distance education students – particularly in a manner that was fiscally responsible and educationally sound.

This presentation describes a non-high fidelity, distance simulation learning experience designed specifically for distance education students. This creative, i-Pad based approach presents unfolding cases in video format, and integrates interactive learning strategies that provide immediate feedback and use debriefing principles. Importantly, it allows students to engage in simulation experiences from any geographical location. Excerpts from the “Simulation for Distance” learning module will provide insight into the students’ learning experience.  Benefits and limitations of this approach, as well as evaluative data from student and faculty, will be discussed.

Key words: Distance education; simulation; unfolding cases; clinical decision-making