Screen-Based Patient Simulation – An Exemplar for Developing and Assessing Competency

The purpose of this research study was to determine if virtual patient simulation is an effective strategy to assist learners in meeting competencies and sub-competencies outlined in the AACN Essentials. Here are the three main takeaways from the study:

  • Virtual patient simulation can be an effective tool for teaching nursing students about complex topics: The simulation scenario described in the study helped students learn about caring for a patient with kidney failure, which is a complex topic that can be difficult to teach in a traditional classroom setting.
  • Virtual patient simulation can help students develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to complex patient care: The simulation scenario helped students develop not only their knowledge of kidney failure, but also their skills in performing procedures such as taking vital signs and administering medications. It also helped students develop positive attitudes towards patient care, such as empathy and compassion.
  • Virtual patient simulation can be leveraged as a valuable measuring tool in competency-based education: Competency-based nursing education can benefit greatly from virtual patient simulations as an assessment tool. This study’s kidney failure scenario illustrates the potential of these simulations to boost nursing students’ competence in decision-making and patient care, offering a promising avenue for future education approaches.


Altmiller, G.; Jimenez, F.; Wilson, C. (2023). Screen-based patient simulation: an exemplar for developing and assessing competency. Nurse Educator. 10.1097/NNE.0000000000001585