The role of simulation for learning within pre-registration nursing education - a literature review

Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Oct;31(7):650-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2010.10.029. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


Simulated learning in a clinical skills centre has become more popular within undergraduate nursing education and is increasingly used to teach and assess clinical skill acquisition. Current literature suggests that there is some validity in teaching psychomotor skills in a designated simulated clinical skills centre, whilst other sources still question its value in terms of experience. Such contradictions demand further exploration and appraisal of the current literature. The findings show that simulated learning in a clinical skills laboratory is reported to increase student confidence and prepares students for real clinical setting, however, this acquisition of skill is often achieved at different rates by different students. A standardised approach to simulated learning in nursing education and the development of further holistic clinical scenarios which are linked to related theory and lectures, would offer measurable learning outcomes to meet professional and regulatory requirements. Therefore, further evaluation of the current learning methods within simulation may offer appraisal of the preparation of students for clinical practice, to ensure that students are offered quality-learning opportunities that are flexible and responsive to both their needs and the demands of the Health Care Services.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Nursing Research / trends*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Psychomotor Performance