The purpose of this project was to implement and evaluate the integration of a computer-based virtual simulation program into a community clinical course as an alternative or complement to conventional clinical with agencies or neighbourhoods. Securing quality community health clinical opportunities for undergraduate nursing students remains challenging. In addition, evidence of a theory-practice gap in community clinical education, particularly in non-traditional settings, suggests that nurse educators need to adopt different pedagogies to ensure that students will gain competencies necessary to practice community/population health nursing. In response, we piloted the use of Sentinel City®3.0, a virtual reality simulation program.
A 5-point Likert-style questionnaire was administered to students randomly assigned to different clinical placements.
Results indicated that there were no learning outcomes in which students in Sentinel City®3.0 reported percentages lower than students in agencies or geographical neighbourhoods. When there were statistically significant differences, students engaged in Sentinel City®3.0 performed better than students in other experiences.
We recommend further exploration of multi-contextual pedagogies for community clinical.
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