Developing online simulated practice placements: a case study
The Nursing and Midwifery Council recognises that using simulated practice learning within the pre-registration nursing curriculum is a valuable way for students to develop nursing knowledge and skills. The University of Huddersfield developed simulated placements in the pre-registration nursing curriculum in 2021. Simulated placements are now embedded within all fields of the BSc and MSc programmes, providing structured, innovative learning experiences that embrace online technology in supporting the development of skills and knowledge relevant to all fields of nursing. Developing these placements has provided an opportunity for faculty staff to work collaboratively with clinical colleagues, service users and carers, academics and technologists. This article offers an overview of that work, addressing challenges, operational issues, and insight into some of the activities developed to support students' learning.
The growing challenges of securing clinical placements for pre-registration nursing students, and recognition by Health Education England (HEE) (2023) for nurses to be digitally confident, inspired faculty staff within the Department of Nursing at the University of Huddersfield to respond by developing and integrating unique simulated placements that embrace online and digital technology.
Throughout nursing and education literature, there are different definitions and interpretations of simulation. Descriptions range from complex and dynamic clinical situations replicated in a controlled environment (El Hussein and Cuncannon, 2022) to a component of healthcare education that can be used successfully for collaboration between professions to develop interprofessional skills (Costello et al, 2017). The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) defines simulation as:
‘An educational method which uses a variety of modalities to support students in developing their knowledge, behaviours and skills, with the opportunity for repetition, feedback, evaluation and reflection to achieve their programme outcomes and be confirmed as capable of safe and effective practice.’
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