Research Article| Volume 77, P42-50, April 2023

A Scaffolded Simulation Curriculum: Translating Simulation with Standardized Patient Encounters into Clinical Practice for Nurse Practitioner Students

Published:March 02, 2023DOI:


      • Findings support the use of scaffolded simulation in nurse practitioner education.
      • Structured debriefing is essential translating knowledge to clinical practice.
      • Multiple sources of feedback advance formational learning.
      • Three themes emerged: authenticity, confidence, and harmonization.
      • Develop tools to evaluate competency acquisition through simulation.



      More high-quality research is needed to connect learning in simulation to clinical practice experiences of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) students. The purpose of this study was to evaluate students’ perceptions of simulation and explore qualitative reflections about the role of simulation in preparing them for clinical practicum experiences.


      In this longitudinal, mixed methods study, a series of six, scaffolded simulation experiences were implemented in an APRN curriculum. Focus groups were conducted with a convenience sample of 23 nurse practitioner students.


      Three key, interconnected themes emerged from the focus groups: authenticity, confidence, and harmonization. Quantitative data demonstrated that simulation was effective in promoting clinical decision-making skills.


      The findings of this study support the use of scaffolded simulation experiences in nurse practitioner education. The participants valued the knowledge, skills, and confidence gained through the simulation experiences that included a standardized patient, multi-modal feedback, and a debriefing process. Students’ knowledge and behaviors learned through simulation experiences were transferred into their clinical practice.


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