Implementation of simulation: A contemporary strategy to enhance clinical skills of undergraduate students in mental health nursing

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Simulation is an innovative teaching strategy that supports student centered learning. It improves therapeutic communication skills with clients. Additionally, it enhances critical thinking, problem solving, and confidence among students, in a non-threatening and safe environment, without posing a risk to actual patients. This paper describes the process of application of simulation for undergraduate nursing students enrolled in a mental health nursing course. The project aimed to determine the significance of simulation to improve the communication skills and confidence level, and to decrease the anxiety of undergraduate nursing students, prior to attending mental health clinical. The Experiential Learning (ELT), by Kolb in 1984, was chosen as a framework for the simulation strategy. The simulation experience was a stepwise process that comprised a briefing session with students to explain them the process and purpose of the simulation activity, followed by a two-day simulation experience. The experience comprised students' interaction with Simulated Patients (SP), who had been prepared to manifest symptoms of depression, mania, and schizophrenia. The later part of the experience was a debriefing session, in which students were provided an opportunity for self-reflection and for thinking a way forward, to enhance their clinical competency, using their video recording. The students' evaluation regarding the simulation experience was positive and they suggested that it be integrated in the mental health nursing course.


Volume, and issue are not provided by the author/publisher


Issues in Mental Health Nursing