First Advisor

Catherine Witt


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

60 pages


Executive Summary

Project Title: Analysis of the impact of hours of simulation on HESI scores.

Statement of problem: Undergraduate nursing programs are challenged to develop high cognitive skills in students and prepare them for practice readiness. Limited clinical placements that offer a narrow exposure to clinical experiences to prepare nursing students adequately to apply their knowledge are a growing concern. Simulation experiences allow students the opportunity to acquire competencies necessary to apply knowledge to practice. Is there a direct relationship between increased hours of simulation to students’ readiness for practice?

Purpose: To determine if there is a relationship between hours of simulation received and student performance on HESI exam to better explain the relationship of simulation to student knowledge acquisition and application.

Goals: Provide evidence of impact of simulation on nursing student knowledge. This study will provide information that may guide undergraduate nursing curriculum development specifically surrounding clinical hours.

Objectives: To determine if there is a relationship between the number of hours of simulation received and student performance on a standardized exam.

Plan: Challenges for clinical placements required innovative strategies to meet the clinical requirements within this organization. The use of simulation in place of clinical hours was being done, but cohorts were receiving different numbers of hours. A retrospective look at each of the cohorts was done to determine simulation hours received. Data was collected from each cohort’s HESI exam results and compared.

Outcomes and Results: The analysis of data revealed that 6 hours of simulation is a minimum number of hours that will have a positive impact on student learning, and 12 hours showed the greatest impact on students within this study. The data does not appear to reach saturation one cannot prove that only 6 or 12 hours of simulation should be considered as all levels are statistically significant. One cannot prove that additional hours is a waste of time or that student learning has reached a plateau.

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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