Major Article 

Effectiveness of Simulation-Based Orientation of Baccalaureate Nursing Students Preparing for Their First Clinical Experience

Valorie Dearmon, DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Rebecca J. Graves, MSN, FNP-C; Sue Hayden, PhD, RN; Madhuri S. Mulekar, PhD; Sherry M. Lawrence, DNP, RN, CNOR; Loretta Jones, MSN, RN; Kandy K. Smith, DNS, RN; Joseph E. Farmer, MSN, RN

  • Journal of Nursing Education
  • January 2013 - Volume 52 · Issue 1: 29-38
  • DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20121212-02


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a 2-day, simulation-based orientation for baccalaureate nursing students preparing to begin their first clinical experience. Students were recruited for participation in the study from a clinical foundation course. Actors (standardized patients) provided students with the chance to engage with simulated real patients in realistic clinical situations prior to entering the clinical setting. Students’ perceived stress, knowledge acquisition, anxiety, self-confidence, and satisfaction with the orientation process were assessed. Findings indicated a statistically significant increase in knowledge of and confidence in skills needed when first entering the clinical setting and a decrease in anxiety following the orientation activity. Students had a positive attitude about interaction with real patients, faculty, and other students during the experience. Improved self-confidence and satisfaction were reported as a result of participation in simulation-based orientation.

Dr. Dearmon is Assistant Professor, Adult Health Department, Ms. Graves is Instructor, Dr. Hayden is Assistant Professor, Dr. Lawrence is Assistant Professor, Ms. Jones is Senior Instructor, Dr. Smith is Professor, and Mr. Farmer is Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, and Dr. Mulekar is Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The authors thank Dr. Debra Davis, Dean, College of Nursing, who funded this study through a Dean’s Grant, and Dr. Michael Jacobs, Adult Health Department Chair, University of South Alabama, for support of this educational initiative.

Address correspondence to Valorie Dearmon, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Professor, Adult Health Department, College of Nursing, University of South Alabama, 5721 USA Drive N., Room 4068, Mobile, AL 36688-0002; e-mail:

Received: April 19, 2012
Accepted: August 23, 2012
Posted Online: December 12, 2012



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