Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nursing and Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Kristy Chunta, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Palmer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Teresa Shellenbarger, Ph.D.


Changes in healthcare delivery, that are due in part to increased patient acuity and advances in technology, challenge nurse educators to prepare graduates that can practice in this complex environment. The use of simulation is one way nurse educators can meet this challenge. Although, simulation is not new in nursing education, it too has undergone changes due to technological advances making it more valuable than ever as a teaching tool for nurse educators. This has caused a rapid growth in the use of simulation in nursing programs. In order to effectively design and implement simulations, nurse educators need to understand the experience of simulation from the students' perspective. This study examines the student experience in simulation for baccalaureate nursing students. A descriptive phenomenological approach was utilized to gain rich descriptions of the students' experiences. A convenience sample of 15 baccalaureate nursing students who had participated in medium and/or high fidelity simulations, in the role of the primary nurse, at three universities in Pennsylvania was used. Five essential characteristics of the simulation experience were identified. Implications from this study may be used by nurse educators to assist in the design and implementation of learner centered simulation experiences.