Meeting the Challenge of Reduced Clinical Placements: Learning Experiences in a Human Patient Simulation Laboratory

           The State of Texas has a critical shortage of registered nurses prepared to meet the health care needs of its citizens. The College of Nursing, along with other programs in the State, has increased enrollment in response to the need for more nurses.  The number of clinical placements in the health care environment has not kept pace with the growing numbers of students. Shorter patient stays, larger numbers of students, higher patient acuity, and shortage of nursing staff has resulted in fewer clinical placements.  This has resulted in students having limited access to practice opportunities with patients in the health care setting. Nurse educators have begun to view the integration of teaching modalities using human patient simulators as a viable strategy for providing experiences that are no longer available to students on a consistent basis in the health care setting. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing presently is conducting a simulation study that could result in Nursing Boards establishing the number of clinical hours that could be completed in a simulation laboratory.  The simulation laboratory can provide students the opportunity to apply knowledge and develop skill sets needed by professional nurses when experiences in the health care setting are limited.  Clinical competencies gained in the simulated environment enables the learner to optimize the reduced time spent in the health care setting.

The purpose of this activity is to provide students the opportunity to apply knowledge and develop clinical skills in a Human Patient Simulation Laboratory when clinical experiences in the health care setting are limited. This Project will enable the faculty to evaluate the knowledge and clinical competency outcomes when using simulations as an alternative to experiences in the health care environment in courses across the curriculum and program graduates in the health care setting. Project faculty will evaluate clinical competency outcomes at the end of courses across the curriculum and the performance of graduates to determine the effectiveness of this strategy to prepare professional registered nurses.

Contact :

Smith, Isaac  Clinical Assistant Professor Director, Human Patient Simulation

Office: College of Nursing Building Houston, Room 1187

Phone: 713.797.7076

Email: ilsmith@pvamu.edu