Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer V. Rotigel, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Michele A. Gerwick, Ph.D.


There has been a significant amount of research regarding simulation use in nursing education; however, there is limited research available regarding the replacement of traditional clinical with simulated clinical. This research included a mixed-method design formulated to determine Pennsylvania Practical Nursing Programs' current simulation usage and Pennsylvania Practical Nursing Directors', Assistant Administrators', and Faculty Members' perceptions regarding replacing a portion of traditional clinical with simulated clinical. An 18-item electronic questionnaire was delivered to 309 potential respondents via the Qualtrics electronic survey distribution system, with 191 responding. Information regarding current simulation usage, possession of a functioning simulation laboratory, use of a Simulation Specialist/ Coordinator, number and type of mannequins used, and reasons for replacing a portion of traditional clinical with simulated clinical was obtained. Data were gained regarding the percentage of traditional clinical that is being replaced with simulated clinical in the average Pennsylvania Practical Nursing Program as well as administrators' and faculty members' suggestions regarding the maximum replacement of traditional clinical with simulated clinical in a 1,500 hour Practical Nursing Program with 900 hours of clinical. A positive faculty attitude regarding teaching in a simulation laboratory was found. Simulation laboratory instructors indicated the types of training they received in order to operate their programs' simulation equipment. Demographic data were analyzed with respondents' suggested hours of replacement of traditional clinical with simulated clinical to determine if certain school or participant characteristics related to a higher or lower replacement hour suggestion using the SPSS data analysis system. Respondents from certain types of Practical Nursing Programs (p = 0.005) and years that their program has had a functioning simulation laboratory (p = 0.022) were found to have significant correlations to the suggested amount of traditional clinical that could be replaced with simulated clinical. An open-ended item gathered respondent perceptions regarding replacing an amount of traditional clinical with simulated clinical. Open-ended responses were analyzed using the NVivo qualitative data analysis program revealing seven supportive simulation themes and four concern themes.