Leading Nurse Educators Launch Free ‘Essentials of Clinical Simulation’ Online Course

Suzie Kardong-Edgren, Professor and Director of the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center at Robert Morris University alongside colleagues which includes Dr. Pam Jeffries, Dean of the George Washington University School of Nursing, recently announced a new Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Essentials in clinical simulation across the health professions”. Each of the 7 modules is interactive, taught by recognized nursing simulation experts, and covers basic information essential for those new to this emerging professional field. Let’s take a closer look!

This 7-week course provides you with key strategies to help understand the foundation of Clinical Simulations. During each module hosted on Coursera, you will learn about 7 key components of Healthcare Simulation Across the Health Professions and its’ impact in your current position as a healthcare professional. Please utilize all of the Resources provided by each of the modules to support and enhance your understanding of each concept.

All courses are free however registration is required. Modules can be taken alone or all can be completed for a certificate. A Course Certificate is the official course credential, if one is required and costs only $50!


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Essentials Course Includes the Following Modules:

1. Getting Started in Clinical Simulation-the Fundamentals: This module will provide information on creating clinical simulations and foundational basics when a health professional educator is considering the use of simulation pedagogy into a course, program, and/or curriculum. Based on a building analogy, the learner will navigate the steps of getting started using the simulation pedagogy outlining major steps, basic fundamentals, and considerations to “get started.” In addition as an educator adopts this use of this pedagogy, major activities, concepts, a simulation theory, and research findings are discussed so the foundation of your simulation program is grounded in theory and best practices that can lead to policy implications for your simulation center.

2. INACSL Standards of Best Practice – Simulation: During this module, you will learn about the historical perspectives in the development of the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation and the template which is consistent across each standard. We will discuss the importance (the WHY) of the standards in simulation-based education as guideposts in developing your simulation program. As we progress through each video, you will learn about each standard (The WHAT) with in-depth descriptions of criteria to meet the standard (the HOW). You will be able to identify where your simulation program is, relative to

3. Implementing Simulation in the Curriculum: This module will provide information on best practices in the implementation of simulation in a course, program and/or curriculum. The learner will be introduced to the concept of a strategic vision for integration involving all stakeholders and a plan for assessment and evaluation. A six-step approach to curricular development is presented. In addition, learners are introduced to key simulation concepts, methodologies, and educational strategies.


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4. Developing a Simulation Center: Implementation of a simulation center is full of complex issues including staff, faculty, simulation scenario development, professional development, budget, equipment, assets, supplies, and much more. This module will provide information to begin the development of a simulation center that meets the standards of best practice for simulation operations. It will provide strategic thinking related to budgeting, revenue, equipment and assets. This is an introduction to center development and is not a comprehensive course.

5. Basics of Debriefing in Simulation: This module provides an introduction to simulation debriefing. It includes information about how to facilitate debriefing, common simulation debriefing methods and the role of feedback in debriefing. In session one, a history of debriefing will be reviewed. The INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation Debriefing will be reviewed, and the role of feedback will be presented. Session two includes several communication strategies that are important with debriefing. Finally, session three presents information about common healthcare debriefing methods.

6. Evaluation Methods in Simulation: In simulation in healthcare evaluation, beginning with the end in mind is critical. Why was the simulation scenario written in the first place? What need is this simulation filling within your program? Or, if simulation is already being used, is some modification needed to get your simulation or course where you want it to be? Is my simulation program contributing to improved patient care, higher test scores for learners? Evaluations provide useful data for educators, deans, hospital administrators, stake holders, funding agencies, and yes, even the learners themselves. This module will introduce you to Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation, a commonly used framework in simulation. We will consider some current existing tools to evaluate simulation experiences and facilitators. And we will provide suggestions for ways to evaluate your simulation program. A word about translating this evaluation approach to your own culture. My approach to evaluation is a very western model. Please consider what I say here and adapt this to fit with your own country or cultural approach to evaluation. Begin with the end in mind- as you start a simulation program. Evaluation is continuous and ongoing…we can evaluate the scenarios, teaching or facilitation of a scenario, student outcomes, etc.

7. Standardized Patients in Simulation: Welcome to Module 7: SPs and Simulation. This module consists of four sessions. We will start this session by clarifying the term SP and introducing the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) Standards of Best Practice (SOBP) which will be referenced throughout all of the sessions. Then I will discuss the role and function and SPs in simulation. The second session will focus on developing SP scenarios or cases. The third session will focus on recruiting SPs and training them for role portrayal. In the last session, the educator will discuss SP program management and opportunities for professional development for those training SPs and administering SP activities.

Course Instructors

  • Pamela R. Jeffries Professor and Dean The George Washington University – School of Nursing
  • Sabrina Beroz Associate Director for Programs and Initiatives The George Washington University – School of Nursing
  • Pamela Slaven-Lee Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Clinical Associate Professor The George Washington University – School of Nursing
  • Crystel Farina Director of Simulation and Experiential Learning Clinical Education Instructor The George Washington University – School of Nursing
  • Karen Lewis Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine The George Washington University – Clinical Learning and Simulation Skills Center and the Standardized Patient Program
  • Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst Associate Professor Marquette University – College of Nursing
  • Suzan Kardong-Edgren Professor and Director Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center – Robert Morris University

More About GWU

Ranked among the top nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report, the George Washington University School of Nursing educates and inspires nurses to provide high-quality, compassionate person-centered health care. The school develops leaders actively engaged in health promotion, patient advocacy and healthcare innovation, and prepares exceptional nurse educators who pursue quality and advance the profession. The School of Nursing is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people and communities locally, nationally and globally. The school values lifelong learning and its students advance nursing practice, leadership and education as they make a difference in the world.

Check out the Essentials of Clinical Simulation Coursera Page Now to Get Started!


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