April 15, 2020By Lance Baily

NLN Shares Part 2 of How To Innovate Faculty Development in Nursing Simulation

The National League for Nursing knows that innovation in Nursing Simulation means more than just the patient simulator or manikin technology. The NLN Center for Innovation in Education Excellence takes innovation beyond just a “buzz word” in their mission to design and deliver new and effective faculty development teaching and learning resources that reach today’s learners and optimize learning outcomes. Here, Dr. Susan Gross Forneris, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE-A, FAAN Director, NLN Center for Innovation in Education Excellence and editor of the NLN TEQ Blog, explores part 2 of her guest post on “Innovating Faculty Development in Nursing Simulation”. But of course, be sure Part 1 of Innovating Faculty Development in Nursing Simulation first!

Nurses and nurse educators are increasingly called upon to lead and participate in teams that design innovative solutions in both health care and education. Why? Because we understand the challenges and opportunities of leveraging innovation and technology to promote excellence.

Clinical Simulation as a teaching and learning strategy is one of many technology-rich methods to which educators are turning. In this context the NLN recently established the Center for Innovation in Education Excellence in recognition of the vital need to build faculty excellence to reframe how nursing students are taught – and how graduates engage with patients and their caregivers in this connected age of health care.


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Emerging Trends in Practice:

The passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 has impacted the health care industry at every level. Transparency and collaboration require different levels of accountability across health care systems to deliver high quality and safe patient care. However, nurses in practice continue to experience the push-pull of high patient-to-nurse ratios just as the workforce is confronting mass retirements of experienced nurses and the nurse educator population continues to decline. Fortunately, what might be setbacks and challenges has prompted innovative thinking, and the innovative use of technology, in our younger practicing health care providers, including our nursing workforce.

Electronic ICUs (E-ICUs): With the rise of community-centered health care and the decreased population of nurses in rural settings, electronic intensive care units (E-ICUS) continue to emerge. This technology enables nurses practicing in rural areas to monitor patients remotely via video camera. E-ICUs are a form of telemedicine or telehealth. The overall goal is to extend the influence and reach of the necessary clinical expertise needed to meet rural health care needs. Through the use of two-way cameras, video monitors, and smart alarms, the health care team can facilitate 24-hour coverage, whether down the hall from the patient or off-site in another facility or even another city.


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Mobile Health: Wearables like Fitbit and the Apple Watch provide a means for today’s consumers to manage their health care differently. Consumers can monitor and send their vital signs directly to a provider in real time, allowing remote monitoring and management. Many of these providers are advanced practice nurses (APRNs). With the significant rise in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others, the demand has increased for digital health solutions to keep up with patient health care needs. There are more than 97,000 health and fitness applications available for download to mobile or tablet devices.

Emerging Trends in Higher Education

The Horizon Report (2019 and 2020) has been published yearly for the last 15+ years to chart emerging technologies for teaching and learning. An initiative of the New Media Consortium (NMC), the report is published through the efforts of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association and the largest community of technology, academic, industry, and campus leaders advancing higher education through the use of IT. The Horizon Report assists these professionals in planning for the use and adoption of technology to meet industry goals and outcomes.

Among the key trends in higher education highlighted by the Horizon Report is the advancement of cultures of innovation. What does this mean? Higher education must provide innovative solutions that will better prepare learners for the workforce. College and universities now turn to immersive learning encounters that incorporate dynamic coursework, providing exposure to real-life and real-time contexts. Learners gain knowledge and experience from these encounters and embrace “failing forward,” an innovation construct in contemporary higher education.

Among the significant challenges outlined in the 2019 Horizon Report are the wicked challenges (i.e., those challenges that are complex to define and address). Let’s examine the wicked challenge of Rethinking the Practice of Teaching. This requires educators to shift how they see their role as instructors, moving from transmitter of knowledge to facilitator of knowledge.

If technology is a driver in both health care education and educators must rethink the practice of education to create innovative cultures of learning, it seems logical that an important link is healthcare simulation. Medical Simulation is immersive contextual learning that provides opportunities for our learners to fail forward. Best practices in the use of theory-based debriefing in nursing simulation embrace our roles as facilitators of knowledge.

Providing nursing care in a highly technological, connected work environment is the future of nursing practice, and teaching with and about emerging innovative technology is the future of nursing education. Simulation in healthcare provides an important link in meeting the technological drivers and wicked challenges ahead.

About the  NLN TEQ Blog

The NLN TEQ blog is brought to you by the NLN Center for Innovation in Education Excellence. TEQ contributors blog on topics that keep nurse educators up-to-date with the latest innovations in simulation, technology, e-learning, telehealth, and informatics. The TEQ Blog editorial advisory board features nurse educators who have strong writing skills and an interest in being a regular blog contributor and/or peer reviewer. Blog content focuses on innovative and contemporary technology thinking across the continuum of nursing education and practice.

Visit the NLN TEQ Blog Today for More Great Resources!

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