The healthcare field is bracing for a major shortage of nurses in the coming decade: according to the American Nurses Association, there will be an additional 1.13 million nurses needed in the workforce by 2022, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that employment for registered nurses (RNs) is expected to increase by 16% through 2024.
To meet this need, many hospitals are looking to community colleges to educate the next generation of nurses via two, three, or four-year certification programs. Read on for ways that community colleges can use simulation-related data to boost nursing student recruitment.
1. Increasing demand for simulation
Simulation-based training has become a major component of healthcare education. In fact, a study shows that up to 50%* of a nursing student’s clinicals can be conducted via hands-on simulation education! This is good news for community colleges. They have an increased opportunity to enroll some of the thousands** of qualified applicants traditional nursing programs turn away every year.
Administrators and faculty should present the power of simulation education as evidence that not only can nursing students successfully obtain an LPN or LVN, ADN, or even a fast-tracked BSN (community college baccalaureate nursing programs are currently available in 22 states) degree at a community college, they’ll be poised for gainful employment upon graduation.
*A National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) study (Hayden et al., 2014) showed that up to 50% of simulated learning can be effectively substituted for traditional clinical experience in all core courses across the pre-licensure nursing curriculum without compromising learning outcomes.
**According to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing report, U.S. nursing schools turned away 68,938 qualified applicants in 2014.
2. Simulation management
From management software to mannequins, there’s a multitude of technologies available for the modern simulation program. Consider deploying a simulation management solution that will connect all your disparate devices in a single location, expedite your data collection, and streamline your scheduling, reports and analysis, and inventory. From single to multi-room simulation training environments, there’s a perfect solution to meet your needs.
3. Powerful reporting
Simulation-based training gives nursing students the opportunity to develop and maintain clinical skills in a safe environment. Community colleges should show how students participating in simulation have improved through deliberate, repetitive practice, video-enhanced debriefing, and objective self-reflection. Simulation-based data – reports on student competencies, surveys, and changes between student years – can pinpoint the correlation between meaningful learning and improved care delivery.
4. Educators as innovators
There are many reasons a student may seek out a community college: cost, flexibility of scheduling, and location, among others. But applicants also want to receive a top-notch education. Community colleges should hire the brightest, most innovative staff possible, nurse educators who can not only ensure that their students are meeting educational competencies, but also that their graduates are well prepared to meet the challenges ahead. Simulated-related data can highlight educator success rates and educational trends, and aid in curricula development.
Nursing education may be evolving, but one thing is clear: simulation works. Community college nursing programs can recruit students by effectively integrating simulation into their curricula—and having the data to back it up.
Schedule a free consultation to learn how you can capture the data your simulation program needs by deploying a simulation management solution at your center.
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