Virtual Clinical Experiences Help Prepare Future Nurses

February 13, 2015 in Archives, Higher Education

In 2012, 79,659 qualified nursing program applicants were turned away due to an insufficient classroom space and clinical sites according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. With the rise in demand for nurses, nursing schools are challenged to develop pioneering instructional practices to help fulfill this need in the future.

 To help meet this demand, the University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio studied the use of virtual Case-Based Learning (CBL) through the creation of the Baby Boy Jones activity. This study worked to better help educate and prepare enough nurses to meet the demand while being able to teach large groups of students more effectively and efficiently.

Baby Boy Jones Case Study

The case-based learning activity designed during this study was called Baby Boy Jones. This activity was developed to guide students through the scenario of hospital childbirth allowing students to play the role of a nursewhile being in a controlled environment. Through this study, students were exposed to a variety of clinical experiences that they may have not been exposed to; at least not to this degree, in nursing clinic classes.

Realistic learning experiences

Using SoftChalk Cloud, a powerful digital curriculum authoring solution, the makers of this CBL created a story line that closely resembled a real-world setting of hospital childbirth. The steady unveiling of content as the learner progresses further through the case study imitated the process of providing care in real practice. Baby Boy Jones also provided rich descriptions of professional and patient interactions as well as inclusion of both appropriate and irrelevant information to encourage decision-making. 

Nursing student engagement

Baby Boy Jones was designed to allow the nursing students to progress through the activity based on the actions and decisions they make each step along the way – engaging the student and allowing them to explore options. Engaging in this process has helped improve instruction by reinforcing the students’ prior knowledge while providing them with immediate feedback of the consequences of the decisions they make in a clinical setting.

As a result, the Baby Boy Jones CBL has had positive feedback and will aid the further exploration of innovative eLearning practices in the nursing field – further helping prepare qualified nurses by exposing them to realistic clinical practices in a controlled environment.

 

 

 

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