Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Susan McNiesh


virtual simulation, practice readiness, nurses


This project assessed the clinical reasoning objectives of first-semester nursing students who had up to 75% of their clinical time using virtual simulations compared to those who primarily had traditional direct-care clinical experiences with up to 12% of their time in simulation. The principal investigator reviewed clinical reasoning measures within student evaluations from the Fall 2019 and Fall 2021 cohorts of an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. The results of a two-tailed independent samples t-test demonstrated a slight reduction in the clinical reasoning abilities of the cohort with a higher proportion of simulation. However, there were several possible confounding factors, not the least of which were the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, preceptors, and faculty. Despite the slight reduction in measured clinical reasoning skills, students were still meeting their objectives. When used appropriately, simulation offers multiple advantages in developing clinical reasoning, which is vital for preparing future nurses for the transition to practice.

Included in

Other Nursing Commons


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