Nursing students' experiences of psychological safety in simulation education: A qualitative study

Nurse Educ Pract. 2021 Aug:55:103163. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2021.103163. Epub 2021 Jul 23.


Objective: The study aims to explore nursing students' experiences of psychological safety during simulation education using a high-fidelity simulator.

Backgrounds: Simulation education allows trainees to practice repeatedly in a safe environment; however, increased anxiety and stress could result from simulation experiences. To better understand psychological safety in simulation education, the evidence for what causes impediments to psychological safety must be investigated.

Design: An exploratory qualitative study was used.

Methods: Four focus group interviews were conducted with students from the nursing departments of two universities in Korea. In total, 20 students who had experienced simulation education participated in this study. The collected data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: The analysis identified four themes and eight subthemes. The themes included dealing with uncertainty, feeling disrespected, dangers of team dynamics and being exposed during simulation education.

Conclusions: Results indicated that robust and consistent faculty development, from being aware of cues for psychological risk and designing the scenario, to debriefing and evaluation, is required to be able to create a learning environment that elicits psychological safety.

Keywords: Focus group interviews; Nursing students; Psychological safety; Simulation education.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Qualitative Research
  • Students, Nursing*