Use of manikins for nurse training does not hamper hands-on care, study suggests

International Council of Nurses conference in Seoul hears how patient care skills are not compromised if learned through simulation

Any debate about the use of simulation in nurse training should focus on the quality of the exercise rather than lack of hands-on patient care, research suggests.

A study of US nurses found simulation with manikins during training did not compromise nurses' ability to practise once qualified.

The study, published in the Journal of Nursing Regulation, looked at students using simulation for between ten and 50% of their training. Follow-up questionnaires, given to graduates of top-performing nursing schools, revealed that up to half of simulation can be effective if used in conjunction with direct patient care.

Presenting the findings to an International Council of Nurses conference in Seoul, US National Council of State Boards of Nursing chief executive, Kathy Apple, said students' pass rates were unaffected. She said the most important issue was that the quality of the students’ work depended on having good practice in simulation.