Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jean L. Sorrell


Over the past 10 years, simulation technology has been increasingly used in clinical settings to evaluate nursing competencies and ensure safe patient care. However, not all simulation laboratories are used consistently by hospital nursing education departments to support learning. The purpose of this qualitative case study, framed by constructivist theory, was to identify nurse educators’ perceptions of the value of using simulation to evaluate nurse competence. Research questions addressed how nurse educators decided what teaching methods to use when evaluating nursing competencies. The participant sample included 8 nurse educators responsible for the education of new and practicing nurses in the organization. Data collection included one-to-one interviews to elicit responses to questions about use of simulation for evaluation of nursing competencies. A document review of educators’ assessments of nurse competencies was used to enhance accuracy of the data. Interview responses were coded by hand and analyzed through interpretive thematic analysis. Six themes emerged related to simulation: experience, competency options, teaching methods, technology, challenges/barriers, and advantages/disadvantages. Participants discussed the usefulness of simulation to assess competence but identified challenges and barriers to using the technology. Findings from the study were used to create a professional development program for nurse educators to implement effective strategies for use of simulation for teaching in the hospital setting. Implications for positive social change include using simulation to improve the development and competence of nurses in the hospital setting, thus helping to ensure a culture of safety for patients.

Included in

Nursing Commons