Effectiveness of Simulation-Based Education in Critical Care Nurses' Continuing Education: A Systematic Review

Published:September 24, 2012DOI:



      The effectiveness of simulation-based education in nurses' continuing education is still largely unknown. The aim of this review was to assess the current body of literature regarding the effectiveness of simulation-based education in critical care nurses' continuing education, with a focus on knowledge and skills.


      We reviewed studies published between 2002 and 2011 contained in eight multidisciplinary databases (Ovid MEDLINE®, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Web of Science, the Educational Resources Information Center, PsycINFO, and Academic Search Premier). Two researchers selected the studies and independently assessed their quality.


      Because of a lack of available studies, only one study is included in the review. According to the results of that study, simulation-based education increases critical care nurses' adherence to recommendations about safe medication administration, and thus it improves patient safety and the quality of care.


      The effect of simulation-based education on critical care nurses' knowledge and skills is still questionable because of a lack of published studies and robust evidence. Further multicenter, randomized controlled trial follow-up studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of simulation-based education versus other educational interventions, as well as to develop a universal method for measuring the quality of outcomes.


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