Virtual Clinical Simulation Adoption on the Rise in Nursing Education Thanks to Innovative Solutions Like Sentinel World

Virtual clinical simulations and scenarios also allow learners to safely interact in simulated learning environments, providing realistic training and practice that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Healthcare Learning Innovations, a division of American Sentinel University, created Sentinel World, an immersive urban and rural virtual simulation, so students can safely earn simulated clinical hours and practice experience (or simply complete interactive assignments), while engaging with key community and population health topics. Healthcare Learning Innovations also develops virtual clinical scenarios, such as Patient Management and Delegation, so learners can sharpen their decision-making skills from their laptop or computer.

As clinical placements are getting harder to find and time consuming to manage, more nursing schools are adding virtual clinical simulations and scenarios to their curricula. Noticing this trend and regulatory-related questions from nurse educators, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) came out with a clarifying statement regarding simulation use in November 2017:

… the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), AACN’s autonomous accrediting arm, encourages innovative practices, including the use of simulation, so long as there are also direct-care clinical practice experiences (all experiences cannot be replaced by simulation). Some state boards of nursing regulate the number of clinical learning hours that can be completed via simulation in schools of nursing within their states. Some national certification bodies additionally require a minimum number of direct-care clinical hours for exam eligibility purposes….


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Sentinel City and Sentinel Town virtual clinical simulations provide faculty and healthcare educators with the tools they need to adequately educate and assess students. Both urban and rural environments are aligned with AACN, BSN essentials and QSEN / NLN core competencies.

There are even more innovative educational solutions from Healthcare Learning Innovations, such as virtual clinical scenarios, but today we are going to specifically explore the Sentinel World virtual clinical simulations platform that over 94% of students surveyed said were “helpful and effective.”

What are Sentinel World Virtual Clinical Simulations?

Sentinel World virtual clinical simulations are purpose-built for nurse educators, getting as close to “real world” nursing as you can get in a simulated online environment. The urban and rural simulated environments include a faculty guide, 40+ suggested assignments, grading rubrics and many other educational resources. These resources streamline curricula development that challenges and rewards nursing students in a gamified learning environment.


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“The simulation experiences provided a higher level of intellectual challenge for students than traditional assignments used in the past.” University of South Dakota Faculty Member

Interactive, rich with demographic detail, and fun to work through, students can earn simulated clinical hours and practice experience while faculty closely track participation and outcomes.

Sentinel City Urban Community for Community and Population Health Nursing

Sentinel City, the virtual urban community, was created to provide nursing students lifelike practice experience and realistic applications of significant community, public and population health concepts.

“With Sentinel City, students can explore in the safety of their home computer and gain confidence before working with patients” Minot State University Faculty Member

  • Fully integrated Family Support and Home Assessments with Nursing Diagnosis and Final Care Plan
  • Easily Implement 23-plus complete assignments
  • 13 diverse characters, exposing students to a significant variety of illness, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Applicable to disaster preparedness, infection prevention control, policy and health issues, and more

Sentinel Town Rural Community for Community and Population Health Nursing

Sentinel Town was designed to help nursing students master assessment and intervention planning in a rural community that presents unique challenges from agricultural to small town living.

  • Easily implement 17-plus complete assignments
  • 10 locations with unique data and demographics
  • 5 community citizens, exposing students to significant variety of case studies
  • 7 key informants providing community subsystem information

About Healthcare Learning Innovations

Healthcare Learning Innovations, a division of American Sentinel University, is transforming nursing education with a portfolio of unique, immersive, gamified virtual nursing simulations and scenarios that accelerate learning and improve critical decision-making.

As members of a university, the team has first-hand experience how virtual clinical simulations and online nursing scenarios can supplement what’s learned in classrooms, simulation labs, and “real-world” clinical training.

The organization’s products are developed in collaboration with expert nurse educators and students to directly support industry trends with technology innovations. The team is always ready for the next “aha” moment that will enable them to turn what they see, hear and research into valuable nursing education solutions for your simulation program.

Their unique learning solutions are already in use by Western Governors University, UMass Dartmouth, University Oklahoma, UNCW, Abilene Christian University and more.

Learn More about Healthcare Learning Innovations Virtual Clinical Simulations

Register now for their upcoming webinars to learn more through the links below:

  • October 18th at 12:30 p.m. EDT– Virtual Clinical Scenarios Webinar – Register Here
  • October 19th at 12:30 p.m. EDT – Virtual Clinical Simulations Webinar – Register Here

Learn more about Virtual Learning with HLI’s Sentinel World Solutions here!


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