University of Southern Mississippi Nursing Program Students Participate in National Simulation Study

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The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Nursing is among ten universities from across the country currently participating in a national study funded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to examine the use of simulation exercises in nursing education.

University of Southern Mississippi Nursing Program Students

Southern Mississippi nursing program students go through simulation exercises as part of a national study.

As students we don’t get to do things like call physicians or administer IV push medications but with the simulation training, we get to experience those kinds of scenarios.

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Nursing is among ten universities from across the country currently participating in a national study funded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to examine the use of simulation exercises in nursing education.

The two year study, which began in the Fall 2011 semester, will evaluate how the use of simulation scenarios in addition to traditional clinical studies will enhance the educational experience of the students. The simulation involves the use of life-size mannequins in role playing scenarios where students are able to receive hands-on training in critical situations that may be rare or that the student has not had the opportunity to experience during their regular clinical rotations. The study also came with a $300,000 grant.

“In the simulation environment, the student can be the nurse responsible for calling the physician, transfusing blood products and collaborating with other members of the health care team,” said Dr. Kathleen Masters, associate professor and associate director of the University of Southern Mississippi nursing program and the project’s team leader. “Simulation provides a safe learning environment where the student must act like a nurse, rather than a nursing student and therefore the nursing student begins to think like a nurse.”

“As students we don’t get to do things like call physicians or administer IV push medications,” said USM nursing program student Kara Scott, a junior from Slidell, La. “But with the simulation training, we get to experience those kinds of scenarios. It allows us to be involved in decision making and delegating different procedures.”

Prior to the simulation, students are given information regarding the condition of the “patient,” allowing them to prepare as they would for a patient experience in the traditional clinical setting. Students are then debriefed after each simulated patient encounter. The sites’ study teams will monitor all 82 students daily, upon completion of each clinical course, after one year in the University of Southern Mississippi nursing program, upon graduation, and after one year postgraduation. Masters and her team provide weekly reports to the NCSBN Simulation Study Principle Investigator.

“At the end of each semester, the grade point average and ATI test scores are also reported to NCSBN for all students enrolled in the study,” said Masters. “Since this is the end of year one of the study, blinded evaluators have been trained to evaluate study participants’ performance during simulation. Each student in the study has been evaluated once during the semester by a blinded evaluator. These results are also sent to NCSBN.”

Other sites chosen for the NCSBN Simulation Study include: College of Southern Nevada; Florida International University; Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana; Johns Hopkins University; Johnson County (Kansas) Community College; Lancaster (Pennsylvania) General College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley (Missouri); University of South Carolina and Washington State University.

For more information about the School of Nursing at Southern Miss, call 601.266.5454 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/nursing

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at http://www.usm.edu.

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