Creating innovative and real-life learning environment for internationally-qualified nursing students: simulation and role play

Joy Cayetano-Penman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


One of the recently concluded offerings of our university is the Australian Nursing Studies Program, which allowed internationally-qualified nurses to transition to the Australian workforce. In delivering the program, students were provided with online pre-clinical nursing learning packages, face-to-face workshops, a one-week intensive ward simulation at the university, and a six-week acute care clinical placement.

Simulated wards with simulated patients that provided authentic real-life Australian experience were used to prepare the nurses. Simulated wards were like hospital wards, while simulated patients were community members who took on the role of patients in the wards. Fiction contracts were also used to allow the nurses to engage actively in simulation and debriefings by establishing a psychologically safe context. In short, the nurses were required to act as “real” nurses and pretend the clinical scenarios were real even though they were in the simulation-based environment, and so with the patients.

Using a qualitative design, the impact of the educational intervention on the learning outcomes was determined by using a one-minute questionnaire. Some quotations on the best learning that transpired from the 2019 and 2020 cohort of nurses included:

“We just don’t practise skills, we gain insight and knowledge on the nursing practice here.”

“It will help us a lot on what to expect once we are in clinical placement. Allows us to be more aware of what to focus (on) more.”

“The experience gave me a lot of information to help me prepare for my clinical experience – like what to expect, what to see and what I may experience.”

“It aids me in providing guided structure and planning for clinical placement.”

“Familiarisation of the nursing practice here, providing me confidence”

Simulation and role play enabled the nurses to meet the learning outcomes of the program and assisted their readiness and confidence for clinical placement.


ConferenceAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleANZAHPE 2021
Cityvirtual conference
OtherANZAHPE Festival 2021
Theme: Moving forward in ambiguity
Internet address

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