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Simulations in undergraduate nursing programmes in New Zealand: current status and next steps
  1. Raewyn Lesa,
  2. Ben Daniel
  1. University of Otago, Higher Education Development Centre, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Raewyn Lesa, University of Otago, Higher Education Development Centre, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, 9054, New Zealand; raewyn.lesa{at}


Introduction There is an increasing global tendency to use simulations in nursing education. This research examined the current status of simulation programs in undergraduate nursing schools in New Zealand. The goal was to gain a better understanding of how simulations are currently implemented in nursing schools and to identify the associated opportunities and challenges.

Methods 16 nursing schools in New Zealand deliver undergraduate nursing education. 10 of these schools selected a nursing leader who was involved in the schools’ simulation program to complete an online survey. The survey questions were designed to explore the nature of simulations in nursing schools, and the opportunities and challenges experienced in the implementation of these programmes.

Data analysis Survey data were analysed and presented as summary statistics (frequencies and percentages). Responses to short questions were thematically analysed and common themes were identified. The analysis was divided into demographic characterises and main results.

Results The key outcomes of the study have shown the prevalence of various simulation modalities in nursing schools in New Zealand. The analysis also suggests that the current practices associated with the integration of simulations into nursing education in New Zealand are fragmented and sporadic. Challenges shared across all institutions include inadequate resourcing of simulation programs, poor curriculum integration and programme alignment; a lack of shared understanding of what constitutes simulation and the extent to which simulation modalities achieve learning outcomes.

Conclusions The outcome of this study has contributed to a better understanding of the prevalence and nature of simulation programs in undergraduate nursing schools in New Zealand. It has also provided insights into the different opportunities and challenges associated with implementing these programmes in nursing schools. Furthermore, the research has identified important conceptual and theoretical issues related to the broad discourse on the use of simulations in undergraduate nursing education.

  • simulation
  • nursing education
  • New Zealand
  • mannikin
  • opportunities and challenges

Statistics from


  • Contributors RL and BD have equally contributed to the conception and design of the work including the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data and the drafting and revision of the work. RL and BD have approved the final version to be submitted and published and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding Funding for this study in the form of a financial grant was received from the New Zealand Nursing Education and Research Foundation (NERF).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval University of Otago Ethics.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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