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Written by Marsal Stoll, EdD, MSN, RN
ACEN Chief Executive Officer
Published August 2022
After brainstorming and deciding the theme of this edition of BRIDGES would be “technology,” one of my younger colleagues at the ACEN said something to the effect of, “write about your experience using simulation when you taught.” I giggled; actually, it was more robust than a giggle. My reaction looked more like this.
I started as a faculty member in 1978 and transitioned from the classroom to an administrative role in 1992. The technology we used in the classroom and laboratory was not anything like the technologies available today. We used an opaque projector, a transparency projector, and a slide projector, and when the ELMO came along, we thought we hit the lottery. Don’t misunderstand; we used “simulation” all the time; however, what simulation looked like during the 1980s was very different than what simulation looks like today.
The ACEN defines skills and/or simulation laboratory learning experiences as opportunities for students to learn about nursing care in settings designed to look, feel, and/or function as a real-world practice learning environment, offering real-world practice learning experiences, which may include the use of low-, mid-, high-fidelity and/or virtual simulation equipment. These experiences facilitate students’ application of knowledge, skills, and behaviors in the care of patients and clients (including an individual, a family, a group, or other populations) and support the end-of-program student learning outcomes and and/or role-specific nursing competencies.
While nursing students and faculty today have access to an incredible array of high-tech simulation and virtual reality technology that offer students the opportunity to apply knowledge and practice psychomotor skills and affective skills in a laboratory setting, regardless of the technology (or the era), a consistent truth is:
- Successful learning can occur when the technology resources are used appropriately for the intended learning and the goal trying to be achieved.
- When any technology is used, the use must reflect evidence-based nursing practice for the educational level at which students are being prepared.
Nursing is a very complex and demanding profession, and it’s like no other healthcare profession. Nurses are always on the front line, and nursing faculty have an enormous responsibility as they educate the next generation of nurses. I was reminded of this enormous responsibility as I read Nelda Godfrey’s recent article on professional identity. One of her comments in this article is that “Professional identity in nursing is a new term that can bring a broader understanding to your professional life in nursing. It can help you become an even more vital part of our rapidly changing discipline, giving voice to the value nurses bring to every patient care situation and the wisdom that nurses innately hold.” The ACEN is deeply grateful to all nursing faculty, your contributions to our profession, and your deep commitment to nursing students. Thank you for everything you do. Continue to let us know what we can to do to support you in your vital work.