Simulation Educator Needs Assessment Tool (SENAT)

As part of the Evaluating Healthcare Simulation tools, the Simulation Educator Needs Assessment Tool (SENAT) was developed by Britt, Xing, and Leighton (2023) based on a needs assessment and gap analysis for simulation professional development, the need to provide data regarding the simulation professional needs and desire for improvement, and to assist the creation of a professional development roadmap for simulation programs and/or individual simulation educators. The Healthcare Simulation Standard of Best Practice: Professional Development was used as a foundation for this instrument. The SENAT was designed to assess the needs of educators to inform continuing education and orientation requirements.

Download the Simulation Educator Needs Assessment Tool.

Permission to Use FREELY: General use is already permitted by posting the statement: I understand that I have been granted permission by the creators of the requested evaluation instrument to use it for academic, clinical and/or research purposes. I agree that I will use the evaluation instrument only for its intended use, and will not alter it in any way. I will share findings as well as publication references with the instrument creator(s). I am allowed to place the evaluation instrument into electronic format for data collection. If official ‘Permission to Use’ letter is required, please contact the primary author. Include the purpose of the official request (research, grant), the intended use of the tool and with what population.

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Why the Simulation Educator Needs Assessment Tool was Developed:

  • Gap noted in the literature for sim professional development needs assessment
  • Need to provide data regarding an individual’s needs and desires for improvement
  • Serve as catalyst for simulation professional development conversations
  • Assist in the creation of a professional development roadmap for simulation programs and / or individual simulation educators

Learn more about INACSL’s Healthcare Simulation Standard on Professional Development which states in CRITERION 1 to “perform an educational needs assessment that includes a gap analysis to provide the foundational evidence for a well-designed professional development plan.” The document continues that this “Initial and ongoing professional development supports the simulationist across their career. As the practice of simulation-based education grows, professional development allows the simulationist to stay current with new knowledge, provide high-quality simulation experiences, and meet the educational needs of the learners” (INACSL Standards Committee et al., 2021).

HOW the SENAT was Developed:  This tool was initially developed by Mrs. Teresa Britt and Dr Kuan Xing at the Center for Healthcare Improvement & Patient Simulation (CHIPS) at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. The audience for this self-reporting survey is the Simulationist, broadly defined as an individual who is involved in the design, implementation, and / or delivery of simulation activities ( for example, educators, technologists, operations specialists, technicians). Because of the wide variation that still exists in simulation job descriptions, this tool may be useful for those in the academic or clinical simulation environments. In many organizations, there is significant crossover between educators and operations personnel — or one person occupies both roles!

What is a Needs Assessment? A needs assessment is a crucial stage in the educational process that leads to changes in practice, and should be part of the continuing professional development process, which should be the starting point in designing any formalized professional improvement curriculum.

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Reliability and Validity of the SENAT

Literature Review: Survey Draft based on literature and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) Blueprint

Informal Peer Review: Edits from a measurement/assessment perspective

Sample: 239 responded; 147 completed (62%)

Two Subscales:

  • Needs: Cronbach’s alpha = .90
  • Simulation Modalities: Cronbach’s alpha = .81
  • Good to excellent scale reliability

Download the Simulation Educator Needs Assessment Tool.


Return to the Evaluating Healthcare Simulation tools webpage.

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