Post-Grant Reports


Using Simulation to Develop Clinical Teaching Competencies in Nurse Educators

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Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Health and Physical Education | Higher Education | Higher Education and Teaching | Nursing | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Science and Mathematics Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


In support of my professional development, I was awarded funds to travel to present the findings of a Sigma/ATI grant study completed Fall 2018-Spring 2019. I submitted an abstract to the Nurse Educator Conference (NEC) in the Rockies and after peer review was given a one-hour podium presentation for July 2019. At the conference, an Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) representative attended and moderated the podium presentation. This connection with ATI led to an invitation after the NEC conference to present in Seattle at the 2020 National Nurse Educator Summit. This opportunity evolved from having the professional development support to attend and present at NEC. The research study abstract for NEC is included below.

Aim: To measure the effect of simulation on clinical educators’ knowledge and skills about meaningful formative feedback for prelicensure nursing students.

Subject Population: Clinical nurse educators with experience teaching prelicensure nursing students were recruited.

Research Design: Pre-test and post-test design with a simulation workshop for educators.

Instruments: The study used the modified Nurse Educator Self Evaluation (NESE), with six demographic questions, based on National League for Nursing teaching competencies I, II, and III before and after the workshop. The Simulation Design Scale (SDS) was used after the simulation workshop to evaluate the effectiveness of the simulation experience. The Observed Formative Feedback Behaviors Tool (OFFBT) was used during the simulation workshop to record participant use of six identified behaviors to promote effective formative feedback.

Procedure: After recruitment, 11 participants took the NESE online, completed an online module introducing formative feedback behaviors, signed up for a 4-hour simulation workshop, and after the workshop took the NESE and completed the SDS. The OFFBT was used by the PI during the simulations. Educators were exposed to behaviors for meaningful formative feedback to nursing students using simulation pre-briefing, participation and observation of scenarios, and debriefing. The participants represented three different academic institutions with prelicensure nursing programs, age ranged from 26 to over 65 years, and half earned a MSN and half a BSN.

Results: Instrument reliability of the modified NESE was good with all items having a Cronbach’s alpha of .982. All three subscales by competencies had good reliability results (.97, .931, .961). Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test revealed a statistically significant increase in knowledge and skills following participation in the educational intervention. There was a p < .008 with a large effect size (r = .569). The median score of the modified NESE increased from pre-test (median 154) to post-test (median 166). The SDS has a reliability of .5 (Cronbach’s alpha) on the first subscale and .985 on the second subscale. Means for the questions were all within agree and strongly agree that the elements of the simulation were present and that the elements were important or very important. The results do not indicate any needed changes for the design of the simulation scenarios. The OFFBT identified the behaviors during the simulation scenarios that were discussed during the group debriefing. Verbal and nonverbal observations informed the debriefing discussion.

Discussion: Focused practice on specific competencies for educators in simulation workshops can improve knowledge and skills. Using preparation of recorded scenarios and role-plays helped participants practice the feedback behaviors before using them in a live simulation scenario with a standardized patient student.

Future Research: Simulation scenarios using other competencies can be developed for clinical faculty learning. The new National League for Nursing Clinical Nurse Educator competencies can be the basis of a similar tool to measure knowledge and skills in clinical education.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Faculty Development Grant in 2019, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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