Use of a human patient simulator (HPS) as a tool for experiential learning provides a mechanism by which students can participate in clinical decision making, practice skills, and observe outcomes from clinical decisions. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two instructional methods to teach specific nursing education content, acute myocardial infarction, on junior-level nursing students' cognitive skills and confidence. The instructional methods included an interactive approach using the HPS method, compared with traditional classroom lecture. Results of this study suggest that use of a teaching strategy involving the HPS method made a positive difference in the nursing students' ability to answer questions on a test of cognitive skills. Confidence levels were not found to be significantly enhanced by use of the HPS method.