Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Nursing


Nursing Science

First Advisor

DeAnne K. Hilfinger Messias


Introduction: Nurse faculty endeavor to educate future nurses who are able to effectively transition to competent practice after graduation. Shrinking clinical resources and shortages of qualified clinical faculty have contributed to the increasing utilization of high fidelity simulation (HFS) as a substitute for and enhancement of clinical practice in nursing education. The growing body of HFS research documents both student and faculty satisfaction and increased student self-confidence and self-efficacy. A significant gap in the literature is the lack of research on the translation of knowledge gained in HFS to practice. The aim of this research was to investigate recently graduated nurses’ experiences as baccalaureate students with HFS and their perceptions of the impact of HFS on their development of clinical judgment during their transition to practice.

Methods: Data collection consisted of semi-structured, audio-recorded individual interviews with 20 registered nurses who were recent graduates of ten different baccalaureate nursing programs. The participants included 14 white women, 3 African American women, 1 Hispanic woman, and 2 white men. Thematic analysis was the approach applied to the qualitative interview data.

Results: New nurses regarded HFS as valuable to their education. They reported that HFS had contributed to their consolidation of knowledge from various courses and clinical experience, assisted them in learning to work with a team, and positively affected their development of clinical judgment. Participants recognized faculty expertise as contributing significantly to positive HFS experiences and considered HFS to have been underutilized in pre-licensure nursing education.

Discussion: These research findings have implications for nurse educators in general and more specifically for those involved in HFS. Implementation of HFS by well- prepared faculty can enhance the education of nursing students and their ability to effectively transition to practice. Further research is needed into the effectiveness of specific aspects of HFS, the impact of faculty preparation and evaluation on student learning, and the optimal balance of HFS content for students at various levels.


© 2018, Martha Kay Lawrence

Included in

Nursing Commons