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Review Article Open Access

Virtual Simulations in Nursing Education: A Scoping Review

Abstract

Objective: Nurse Educators have recently started offering students virtual experiences as a way to apply theory and develop problem-solving skills. The purpose of this scoping review is to examine virtual simulation in nursing education and to summarize and disseminate the results. Design and review: Arksey and O′Malley's scoping methodology was used as a framework for the review. The databases searched included: PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, ProQuest and ProQuest Dissertations. Results: Twenty-two articles from 2009 to 2014 met the search criteria. The majority of the studies included undergraduate nursing students. The articles were analyzed and three themes emerged: student outcomes, student and faculty challenges with virtual simulation. Conclusion: Learners were largely very positive about virtual experiences and outcomes were comparable or better than those obtained with traditional simulation activities. Virtual simulations have the potential to eliminate geographical boundaries, provide a safe learning environment, and offer a teaching strategy familiar to our students. More research is needed to determine the most effective way to implement virtual simulation into curriculum.

Margaret A Verkuyl* and Paula Mastrilli

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