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The Effect of Simulation Experiences on Theory Course Grade in Nursing Yemesrach Mengesha, Dr. Angela Christian- Mentor Minnesota State University, Mankato. Introduction. Result.

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The Effect of Simulation Experiences on Theory Course Grade in Nursing Yemesrach Mengesha, Dr. Angela Christian- MentorMinnesota State University, Mankato



To err is human but when these errors affect patient care, it can be detrimental. Every year in America, at least 1.5 million individuals are injured due to medication errors (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH, 2006). The estimated cost of these errors is $3 billion dollars and there are as many as 7,000 people who die from these mistakes, annually (JHSPH, 2006). One of the top reasons listed as a contributor to medication errors are : new graduate nurses (Tang, Sheu, Yu, Wei, & Chen, 2007). Multiple studies have revealed that simulation may enhance the competency levels of new nurses which ultimately could reduce medication errors. The vast majority of research regarding the effectiveness of student simulation surround measures of self-efficacy. In this study, the researcher examined if simulation experiences impact theory course knowledge, in addition to increasing self-efficacy of nursing students, thereby reducing medication errors caused by new graduate nurses. To explore this hypothesis, the final course grade of nursing students learning obstetrical nursing was analyzed. Although this research merely considers obstetrical nursing, it is reasonable to transfer the findings from this study to an imperative part of nursing: medication administration. The purpose of this study was to explore simulation experiences and the impact on the theory course grade of students in nursing.

The theory course grade of the intervention group was significantly higher than the control group. The intervention group had an average grade of 95.03 and a standard deviation (SD) of 1.273 while the control group had a mean of 93.43 and a SD of 1.893; the nursing students that had simulation experiences had scored higher in the overall course grade when compared to the students that had no simulation.

Conclusion/Implication to Nursing Practice

This study concurs with previous studies on the effectiveness of simulation experiences on new nurses. New graduate nurses are expected to handle complex situations with patients while keeping up with new advances in technology in health care. Simulation can give nursing students an opportunity to experience caring for high risk patients which allows them to master their skills, such as medication administration. In this study, it was proven that simulation experiences increase theory course knowledge. The more knowledge they attain, the better they become in providing high-quality patient care which means more rigor in medication administration. Based on this study, it is the recommendation of this researcher to include simulation experiences adjunct with clinical course.

Fig. 1 MSU Senior Nursing Students in the Simulation Lab



Studies in the most recent literatures had revealed that the use of simulation in class room settings enhanced the students’ skill, confidence and knowledge. According to an article published in the International Journal of Nursing Scholarship, simulation experience for nursing student’s increases confidence in their own abilities and the ability to provide high-quality care to their patients (Leigh, 2008). In this study, the researcher also revealed that simulation provided an opportunity for the learner to make mistakes and learn from them in a controlled environment without the risk to the patient (Leigh, 2008).

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2006, August 3). Medication Errors in the United States. Retrieved from wu_medication_errors.html

Leigh, GT. (2008). High-fidelity patient simulation and nursing students’ self-efficacy: a review of the literature. International Journal of Nursing Scholarship 5(1), 1-17.

Tang, F., Sheu, S., Yu, S., Wei, I., & Chen, C. (2007, March). Nurses Relate the Contributing

Factors Involved in Medication Errors. Retrieved from Journal of Clinical Nursing website:

Table. 1 Dissection of the Control and Intervention Group Experiences



Special appreciation to my mentor: Dr. Angela Christian and McNair Achievement Program.

Nursing students (N=40) were randomly assigned into two groups: intervention and control group based on the clinical instructor they had previously selected. The control group was taught using conventional clinical teaching methods, while the intervention group used conventional clinical teaching adjunct with simulation. The theory course grades of both groups were compared.

Table. 2 Theory Course Final Grade Results