Programs that conduct simulations in nursing education in either service or academia should take a moment to review the objectives of a few of their scenarios. Do the objectives include QSEN competencies? As a reminder, here are the six competencies:
- Patient Centered Care
- Teamwork and Collaboration
- Quality Improvement
- Evidence-Based Practice.
In 2005, the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative was funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve healthcare education and prevent patient errors. The goal of QSEN is to ensure that all nurses have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA) necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the healthcare systems in which they work. Over a thousand faculty were educated under a “train-the-trainer” model and as word of the competencies spread across the country, QSEN competencies became integrated into undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Eventually QSEN competencies were included in simulation. However, a recent survey study of nursing faculty by Gerry Altmiller (2017) discovered a huge range in the estimate of faculty having received QSEN education (20% to 80%). Reasons for not using QSEN included faculty’s lack of training and lack of knowledge how to integrate simulation. Altmiller concluded that faculty training should be ongoing and that “competencies in nursing education remains varied and inconsistent”.
Incorporation of QSEN competencies into simulation provide a significant opportunity to improve patient safety outcomes. The QSEN website has a ton of useful information, especially through the resources tab. Your program can access the QSEN faculty training for free for 3 months, as well as take advantage of the other resources such as examples of simulations and implementation strategies. A simple search for “simulation” on the website will help you find teaching strategies involving the methodology. Hint: Select “older posts” to find other QSEN sim posts!
Celeste M. Alfes published a very helpful article on the QSEN website entitled “ Developing A QSEN Competency Checklist for Simulation Experiences”. The article includes free checklists for including QSEN competencies, learning objectives, competency checklists and evaluations in simulation scenarios.