"Evaluation of Virtual Simulation to Develop Teaching Skills in a Master's Level Nurse Education Certificate Program"

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to evaluate nurse educator students’ experience with virtual simulation and the effect of virtual simulation on confidence in teaching ability. Virtual clinical simulation is an innovative form of pedagogy using avatars in web-based platforms to provide simulated clinical experiences. Master’s level, nurse education certificate students performed virtual clinical simulations as a portion of their clinical practicum. Aggregated quantitative results yielded no significant change in confidence in teaching ability. Individually, some students indicated change of either increased or decreased confidence while others exhibited no change in confidence after engaging in virtual simulation. Qualitative findings revealed a process of precursors of anxiety and frustration with technical difficulties followed by outcomes of appreciation and learning. Instructor support was a mediating factor to decrease anxiety and technical difficulties. This study served as a starting point regarding the application of a virtual world to teach the art of instruction. As the movement toward online education continues, educators should further explore use of virtual simulation to prepare nurse educators. This study is complete and an article has been published in Computers, Informatics, Nursing (CIN).