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Using simulation exercises to improve student skills and patient safety

11 November 2021
10 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 20


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the delivery of nursing training in higher education and how workforce development programmes are delivered. Using simulated practice is an opportunity for experiential and immersive learning in a safe and supported environment that replaces real life. This article discusses the use of simulation in nurse education to improve patient safety.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the delivery of nursing training in higher education and how workforce development programmes are delivered (Health Education England (HEE), 2020). This has created a need to transform and adapt current provision to resolve the impact on education and training. In recognition of this, current Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) emergency standards offer a maximum of up to 300 hours of simulated learning out of the overall 2300 practical learning hours where clinical practice is not possible (NMC, 2021). The additional simulation hours are considered to be an effective, alternative way of learning, enabling flexibility in practical learning and supporting students in progressing their studies (Royal College of Nursing (RCN), 2021). This presents significant challenges in higher education, both in terms of resourcing and capacity, availability of practice assessors, ensuring proficiencies are assessed in a meaningful way that replicates clinical practice and improving patient safety.

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