Use of virtual simulations for improving knowledge transfer among baccalaureate nursing students

Dana Tschannen, Michelle Aebersold, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Jessica Bowen, Jon Fairchild


Background: Use of simulation has been identified as an integrative strategy to bridge theory to practice and has been identified as a need in educating nurses in the future. Use of simulation provides an opportunity for nursing students to deliberately practice skills needed to be an expert nurse. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of virtual simulations to improve knowledge transfer of nursing students in one Midwest University.

Methods: This study used a quasi-experimental design with 115 nursing students in one University. All students received education on topics related to conflict management, priority-setting, and patient safety.  The intervention group also participated in three virtual simulations. To evaluate knowledge transfer, performance on an individual simulation was evaluated using the Capacity to Rescue Instrument (CRI).  Comparisons were made among the two groups using ANOVA.

Results: Total CRI score for the intervention group (m=21.98, SD 4.29) was significantly higher than the score for the control group (m=20.09, SD 4.05). Therefore, students participating in virtual simulations were able to transfer the knowledge learned in the classroom better than those not participating in the virtual simulations.

Conclusions: Efforts for providing more opportunities for deliberate practice of critical skills (e.g. communication, conflict management, priority setting) must be provided. The addition of virtual simulations focused on the deliberate practice of specified skills improved the students’ performance. Use of a virtual environment may provide greater access to practice opportunities at a much lower cost than high fidelity simulators.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.