Developing a Simulation Training Program for Faculty

Review Article

Austin J Nurs Health Care. 2014;1(1): 1004.

Developing a Simulation Training Program for Faculty

Bryant KD*

College of Nursing, New York University, USA

*Corresponding author: Bryant KD, New York University College of Nursing, 246 Greene Street Room 201, NY, NY 10003

Received: July 21, 2014; Accepted: Aug 20, 2014; Published: Aug 23, 2014


The use of simulation to educate healthcare professionals has increased substantially in recent years resulting in an increased demand for effective faculty simulation training. This article details the development of a formalized faculty simulation training program consisting of a three step approach: selfdirected eLearning module, interactive on-site training, and mentorship from simulation educators.

Keywords: Simulation; Training; Nursing education


Simulation education has become an increasingly popular teaching-learning strategy used by many nursing and medical programs to prepare future health care professionals. According to the National Survey on Simulation Use, 87% of the 1,060 schools surveyed have incorporated use of high or medium-fidelity simulation experiences into their nursing curriculum [1]. This movement towards simulation education has resulted in a high demand for resources on providing training for new faculty. Implementation of a simulation training program requires resources (including money, space, and equipment), time, experienced simulation educators, and support from faculty and administration [2]. Providing effective simulation training enhances the simulation experience for students, creates a more positive attitude regarding use of Human Patient Simulators (HPS), enhances consistency in delivery of simulation education, and increases faculty’s self confidence in the use of HPS [3]. Unfortunately there is few proven simulation training resources available and limited research on the best ways to educate faculty in the use of simulation.


In order to provide the best clinical experience for our students, NYU developed an innovative A/B Clinical Model which consists of students alternating every other week between hospital based clinical (A) and on-campus simulation clinical (B). With over 80 simulation sessions a week, it was essential to develop a robust simulation training program for new simulation faculty. Faculty required specific training on each component of NYU’s format for simulation which includes preconference, an evolving scenario, and debriefing of the simulation session. A training program was developed by the Director of Simulation Learning that consisted of 3 components: a self-directed eLearning module, on-site training, and ongoing mentoring from simulation educators. The simulation training program is taught by the simulation staffs who have all received formal simulation training and a certificate in simulation from Drexel University.

The first component of the training program is completion of an interactive eLearning module that consist of four sections: introduction to simulation, principles of simulation in nursing education, description of the simulation program at NYU, and the basic tenets of debriefing. The framework for the modules was based on Pam Jeffries’s book entitled Simulation in Nursing Education and training from the Drexel Certificate in Simulation program (2). All faculty teaching simulation for the first time are required to complete the 1 hour on-line module before attending the on-site training. Completion of the eLearning modules prior to on-site training allows for a more efficient use of faculty’s time during orientation to focus on practical hands-on training.

The second component of the training program is a 6 hour interactive on-site workshop that begins with a more in-depth PowerPoint presentation on the best practices in simulation and debriefing. Since debriefing has been identified as “where the learning occurs”, a significant amount of time is focused on the components of the debriefing process including the introduction, reaction, analyze/ understanding, and summary phase (2). Additional components of the presentation include viewing a simulation video that highlights each component of the simulation session, explanation of the specific format of simulation at our institution, and the role of faculty during simulation. During the workshop, the learners must participate as a student in a 15 minute scenario that is run by the simulation educators. The purpose of this exercise is for the learners to observe an exemplary simulation session run by simulation experts as well as gain insight on the simulation experience as a student. After the learners play the role of “student”, they are assigned the task of running an asthma scenario as the instructor and the simulation educators play the role of the student. The simulation educator provides the group of 4-6 learners with an outline of a scenario and the group must decide which member(s) will conduct the preconference, simulation, and debriefing component. Once the simulation is complete, the simulation educators critique the learner’s implementation of the scenario and offers suggestions for improvement. The last hour of the training program consist of training faculty on the use of the simulator and orientation to their assigned simulation room.

Although the simulation training program prepares faculty on conducting a simulation session, it is equally as important for the new simulation faculty to have ongoing support including pedagogical and technical support. The Director of Simulation Learning co-teaches the first session with each new instructor to model implementation of the simulation session and provide assistance as needed during their first teaching session. The Director observes the second session and provides an informal evaluation including constructive feedback at the end of the faculty’s simulation session. The Director or other simulation educators will oversee subsequent simulation sessions until the new instructor has demonstrated the ability to teach independently. At the end of the semester, a simulation staff member conducts a formal evaluation of all new faculties through direct observation of an entire simulation session followed by a meeting with each faculty to review the completed simulation instructor evaluation form. The tool includes evaluates the instructors implementation of the simulation, communication skills, professional behavior, identification of areas for improvement, and teaching goals for further development. Since simulation education is an evolving paradigm, all simulation faculties are required to attend a simulation focused faculty development workshops twice a year.


Literature has shown the importance of training in the use of educational technologies in order to ensure faculty are competent and can provide the best learning environment for students [2,3]. An effective faculty training program must identify and prioritize learning outcomes that are needed to ensure the training session is concise and meaningful to new faculty. The essentials of an effective training program are standardization of training, modeling of effective simulation practices, providing faculty support, and fostering faculty development (3-5). Since implementation of our training program, NYU’s simulation center has been able to establish a consistent pool of competent simulation faculty and there has been an improvement in the student’s evaluation of their simulation experience. Due to the paucity of resources on simulation training programs, more research is needed to determine the best practices in training faculty on the use of simulation.


  1. Hayden J. Use of Simulation in Nursing Education: National Survey Results. Journal of Nursing Regulation. 2010; 1: 52-57.
  2. Seropian MA, Brown K, Gavilanes JS, Driggers B. An approach to simulation program development. J Nurs Educ. 2004; 43: 170-174.
  3. Nguyen DN, Zierler B, Nguyen HQ. A survey of nursing faculty needs for training in use of new technologies for education and practice. J Nurs Educ. 2011; 50: 181-189.

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Citation: Bryant KD. Developing a Simulation Training Program for Faculty. Austin J Nurs Health Care. 2014;1(1): 1004. ISSN : 2375-2483

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