Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type

Restricted Project - USF access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

Brian Budds

Second Advisor

KT Waxman



The expectations of graduate non-clinical nursing students (GNCNS) to function with a high level of leadership competencies have been increasing. Academic institutions and nurse educators are tasked with exploring alternative teaching methodologies to prepare students for success in their future leadership roles in an evolving health care system. To adapt to this shift, educators may be called to move away from traditional pedagogical approaches, and toward innovative ways to ensure student knowledge can be transferred and applied to practice. Research has demonstrated that simulation can be substituted for traditional clinical experiences. This performance improvement project sought to examine the impact of utilizing simulation as a supplemental teaching methodology for enhancing competencies in a non-clinical graduate program at a University in Oakland, CA. A simulation training exercise was completed by (N=9) student participants. Participants completed a pre and post self-assessment and an evaluation to determine the usefulness of the simulation on improving nurse leadership skills. Outcomes found that knowledge increased (+1.1 pts), ability to facilitate communication moderately increased (+.80 pts), and general confidence slightly decreased (-.35 pts) after completion of the simulation activity. Wide differences in scores were noted between students and may carry implications for learning style or be contributed to experience (practicing and leadership) years of experience as a practicing registered nurse (RN). There was strong agreement (ĸ=.81) that the simulation was highly valuable for improving knowledge and facilitation skills required to successfully lead health care organizations (HCO). Findings demonstrate benefits of integrating simulation technology as a tool for training in non-clinical graduate program courses.

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