Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

DeLetter, Mary

Committee Member

Robertson, Sara


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state, nation, and globe resulting in significant death and healthcare strain. To minimize risks associated with potential illness and educational interruptions, nursing students have often been prohibited from caring for COVID-19 patients during clinical experiences. Simulation-based education immerses students in a realistic clinical environment providing a safe learning environment for novice practitioners.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to implement simulation-based education related to acute care of COVID-19 patients for pre-licensure nursing students. Project objectives included: (a) to educate nursing students on the care of COVID-19 patients; (b) to assess competency through a simulation exercise; and (c) to assess confidence and satisfaction among nursing students following simulation related to care of COVID-19 patients.

Methods: A descriptive, single group posttest design was used to evaluate a simulation experience at an urban university. Pre-licensure nursing student performance during a high-fidelity simulation experience was evaluated using the Creighton Competency Evaluation Instrument (CCEI). Following the simulation, the National League for Nursing Student Satisfaction and Self-Confidence in Learning (NLN SSCL) questionnaire was used to evaluate self-confidence and satisfaction among students who performed the simulation and additional students who participated as active observers/learners.

Results: Fourteen of the 20 participants role played as nurses during the simulation experiences and were evaluated using the CCEI. The mean CCEI score was 18.14 ± 3.48 (maximum possible of 22). All 20 participants evaluated the experience using the SSCL. The mean satisfaction score was 24.00 ± 1.80 (maximum possible of 25). The mean self-confidence score was 37.50 ± 3.42 (maximum possible of 40). An interview with the simulation director revealed that participating students experienced nursing care aspects not available in clinical settings and that debriefing allowed the students to think through actions and problem solve for future encounters.

Discussion: Student participants demonstrated competence by CCEI evaluation. Consistent with previous literature, students were able to demonstrate a high level of competence during the simulation learning experience. Mean SSCL satisfaction and self-confidence subscale scores demonstrated that students were both satisfied with the experience and confident caring for COVID-19 patients. This aligns with previous research suggesting simulation exercises improve participant confidence. Simulation is a feasible and sustainable way to educate nursing students to care for critical patients.

Included in

Nursing Commons