The Nursing Program at Owens Community College has been selected as one
of only 65 sites around the country to participate in a pilot study of
computerized clinical simulation testing for Registered Nursing students.
More than 200 nursing schools applied and only eight in Ohio were selected - including Owens, according to Elizabeth Ream, chair of the nursing program.
"We are very honored that the Owens School of Nursing has been chosen and our students will be able to benefit from the introduction of computer simulation into the program of study," Ream said.
The pilot study is being undertaken by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to determine whether computerized clinical simulation testing is feasible as part of the standardized National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) required to become an R.N. in the United States.
Through the pilot study, nursing students at Owens Community College will use special software that presents a student with patient cases via computer simulation. The student must choose the proper procedure from multiple choice answers provided. Depending on the selected answer, the patient case progresses in different ways and the student must answer additional questions.
The colleges participating in the pilot study will use the software for one year, beginning April 1998.
Ream said she believes the availability of this software will be a great educational resource for nursing students.
"We applaud this as an opportunity to give students more experience," Ream said. "You can't always find a specific condition in a hospital and computer simulation is another great alternative to teach students."
Having the year to practice with the software also will help the Owens nursing students be better prepared to take the NCLEX nursing exam, Ream said.
"One of our goals obviously is for the students to be successful in passing the NCLEX - and the computerized clinical simulation testing will provide excellent practice for them," she said.
Based on results of the pilot study, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing will make a decision in April 1999 on whether to incorporate the computer simulated testing into the NCLEX.
With more than 400 students, the Owens Community College School of Nursing - on the Findlay and Toledo-area campuses - is one of the three largest associate degree nursing programs in Ohio.