Nursing Students' Learning in High Fidelity Simulation: An Ethnographic Study

  • Author / Creator
    Harder, B. Nicole
  • Understanding what happens to students’ learning in high-fidelity simulation (HFS) is important as we build our knowledge around the use of HFS in nursing education. Research in the area of high-fidelity is emerging at a rapid pace, however much of the literature surrounds the area of self-efficacy and or that of outcomes related to the clinical skill performance in HFS. To date there has been little research that examines what happens in HFS that affects nursing students’ learning. The purpose of this thesis was to look at the culture of learning in HFS in undergraduate nursing education. Specific areas that were explored were students’ and instructors’ views about: the use of HFS on student learning, what it is like to participate in HFS, and factors that either enhance or impair the simulated clinical experience. Using the ethnographic method, participant observations were conducted over a period of two academic terms. A convenience sample of 12 students and two clinical instructors were interviewed regarding their perspectives, and 20 instructors participated in one of two focus groups. The interviews and observations yielded rich data that was initially coded and then segmented to form themes. Member checks were conducted to ensure rigor. To triangulate data, four reflective journals were also used in this focused ethnographic study. The key findings were that students believed that the level of instructor involvement at critical points during HFS was important and instructors believed that their comfort level in teaching with HFS had an important influence on teaching and subsequently learning in HFS. Other factors that enhanced or impaired the simulated clinical experience included realism, the ability to make mistakes in HFS and the specific roles assigned to students during HFS. An important limitation of the study was the possible bias that might have resulted from the researcher’s extensive experience with HFS. A major implication for practice pertains to the preparation of faculty and students for HFS. How students’ mistakes during HFS inform their clinical practicum is an important question to address in future research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Pepin, Jacinthe (Nursing) Université de Montréal
    • Williams, Beverley (Nursing)
    • Cameron, Brenda (Nursing)
    • Myrick, Florence (Nursing)
    • Carbonaro, Michael (Education)