Report: Simulation in Nursing Education: An Evidence Base for the Future

29 January 2024

This report investigates how simulated learning can transform practice learning in nursing education. Simulation in Nursing Education: An Evidence Base for the Future compares existing learning approaches with emerging simulated and technology-enhanced learning approaches and maps the ability of simulation to meet the NMC’s Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses.

This study comprised of four research phases including a systematic review of primary studies and standards, a cross-sectional survey of universities, a case study evaluation of simulated practice learning with students and practice supervisors and focus groups with CoDH members. This enabled an extensive dataset to be captured including the benefits, challenges, and opportunities of delivering and engaging with Simulated Practice Learning (SPL) in nursing education.

Overall, the findings emphasise the significant contribution of SPL in the delivery of pre-registration nursing programmes. They offer a strong evidence base to inform future decision making relating to the regulatory and financial support for SPL in nursing education, and potentially beyond within midwifery and AHP education. These come at a pivotal moment following the NMC’s recent updates to the Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Programmes and upcoming review of nursing and midwifery practice learning, and in light of the ambitions in the NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan.

In launching the report, Ed Hughes, CEO of the Council of Deans of Health said:

“We know that the future of healthcare education in the UK depends on our ability to adapt and innovate. This report provides a timely evidence base highlighting the value of simulated practice learning as well as identifying the need for significant financial and regulatory support to enable education providers to be able to fully embrace its opportunities.” 

Professor Nigel Harrison, Former Chair of the Pedagogy & Innovation Group at the Council of Deans of Health, Former Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University said:

 “I look forward to seeing how this report will inform discourse and decision making around the transformative role that simulation can play in revolutionising nursing education through expanding placement opportunities beyond the traditional clinical setting and fostering a new generation of skills.”

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