Current Trends in Nursing Education

Modern nursing education practices must address current trends and technological influences in order to optimize curricula and knowledge acquisition for students. One popular trend that has become increasingly common in nursing education settings is simulation technology, which coincides with narrative pedagogy to establish a scenario and a treatment plan for a fictional patient in order to learn the skills and acquire the knowledge that is necessary to improve nursing skills and practice (RWJF, 2012).  This method also provides nurses with greater insight into actual patient care settings and what steps might be necessary to achieve effective learning for nurses (RWJF, 2012). Simulation technology also provides nurses with a new and interesting framework to examine a variety of possible patient scenarios that might occur in real-life settings by using simulations to identify the skills that are required to treat these patients and to address the decisions that must be made (RWJF, 2012). This allows nursing students to obtain knowledge more effectively through simulated exercises rather than traditional classroom lectures (RWJF, 2012).

Simulated clinical exercises also represent an opportunity to engage nursing students to promote knowledge and skill development (Overstreet, 2008). In addition, these exercises transform old fashioned nursing instruction practices and utilize different forms of technology in order to accomplish learning objectives (Overstreet, 2008). In this manner, nurses are able to learn new skills and tasks that are readily adaptable to real-life patients in order to promote optimal patient care safety across different healthcare environments (Overstreet, 2008). These efforts also provide greater evidence of the benefits of this technology for nursing students who must utilize current trends in order to be effectively prepared for their future roles as nurses in many different settings (Overstreet, 2008). These efforts will promote higher quality patient care and treatment for all patients and will support effective outcomes for these individuals (Overstreet, 2008).

Although simulation technology has become increasingly popular in many nursing programs, it is not used widely in many undergraduate nursing education settings (Medley and Horne, 2005). Therefore, many students have not yet reaped the benefits of this technology and its widespread impact on their learning and knowledge (Medley and Horne, 2005). In this context, it is important to recognize the value of simulation technology and to consider new ideas and opportunities where this technology might be integrated into current curricular studies so that students are provided with the best possible approach in preparing to manage patients in future settings (Medley and Horne, 2005). Therefore, clinical nurse instructors must consider the benefits of this technology for their students and must provide them with the tools and resources that are necessary to learn how to use simulation in an effective manner (Medley and Horne, 2005). Nurse educators must provide their students with a simulation framework and different scenarios that range from simple to complex situations in order to enable nurses to maximize their learning and to utilize tools that will improve their educational experiences and prepare them for real-life patient care settings (Medley and Horne, 2005).

The impact of simulation technology on nursing education is significant and requires an effective understanding of the benefits of this practice for student nurses across different years and levels of experience. It is expected that nursing students will work on simulation exercises individually and in groups and will address some of the most important issues that will encourage effective outcomes and the development of new ideas for nurses in future practice settings. The knowledge that nursing students will acquire through simulation technology is an important tool in supporting their future work with real-life patients once they establish careers as professional nurses.


Medley, C.F., and Horne, C. (2005). Using simulation technology for undergraduate nursing                  education. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(1), 31-34.

Overstreet, M. (2008). The use of simulation technology in the education of nursing                   students. Nursing Clinics of North America, 43(4), 593-603.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2012). A new dawn in nurse education. Retrieved from