Escaping Nursing School: Simulations Geared at Improving Knowledge and Practice-Ready Skills
“The use of a variety of non-traditional teaching strategies are found in nursing education literature, including gaming, problem-based learning, flipped classroom, and simulation” (Valdes et al., 2021). The use of simulators to replicate real-life scenarios leads “to experiences that are more realistic, and have been used to offer students an opportunity to assess, intervene, and evaluate patient outcomes” (Shin et al., 2015). A new form of simulation, which is becoming increasingly prevalent in nursing schools around the world, incorporates an Escape room activity into the traditional simulation scenario. “An escape room involves participants who are locked in a room and provided with clues and challenges that they must solve to exit within a predetermined time” (Connelly et al., 2018). This form of simulation provides nursing students with an opportunity to enhance practice-ready skills which are defined as “critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills” (Sarage et al., 2021). Escape rooms also enhance knowledge acquisition of content material, which is defined as “the process of absorbing and storing new information in memory, the success of which is often gauged by how well the information can later be remembered” (McNamara & O’Reilly, 2021). The purpose of this Evidence-Based Practice review is to determine if an escape room simulation improves knowledge acquisition and practice-ready skills by comparing pre and post-simulation test scores. This information can be used by nurse educators to implement simulations into the coursework that are the most effective at engaging students in learning and enhancing confidence in skills.