Whether your program is beginning to use simulation or looking to increase its current use, faculty buy-in is key to optimal success. Dr. Tim Bristol, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN shares three strategies that can help get faculty on board.
One key strategy to promote faculty buy-in as they consider simulation is to prioritize what the simulation strategies will be. Oftentimes, running smaller, less complex simulations early in the implementation phase demonstrates that this is DOABLE. When faculty see the simulations happening in a way that is not overwhelming, they are more likely to see that this is something that can be done without overburdening themselves in the process. Frequently, faculty view simulation as just one more thing to do. Showing them the opportunities in simple simulations is a great way to go.
Many times, the simulation super-user/advocate is a lone ranger. There is a huge benefit to getting faculty buy-in if this person has a partner in the process. The simulation leader will do well to help one or two partners — not currently involved in simulation — integrate simulation into their current lesson plan. For instance, maybe the simulation leader asks the maternal child and community health nursing instructors to join in on some simulations that could be used in both classes. They should be prepared to demonstrate the power of this tool for attaining desired outcomes.
By stating that certain simulation initiatives are PILOTS helps the faculty feel less threatened. The pilot should be on a smaller scale to be less obtrusive initially. For instance, maybe two of the eight clinical groups do a day of clinical in the simulation lab. Instead of having a weekly simulation in the medical-surgical lecture, try having two weeks in the middle of the first semester where the lecture has a simulation activity integrated. For skills lab, maybe just use the high-fidelity mannequins in one of the eight weeks of lab. As with any pilot, be sure to collect data, feedback, successes, and challenges. Then, give a full report to all faculty with the intent of doing even more the following semester.