Background Training novice nurses to work at the PICU is a challenging task that requires extensive training for new and complex competencies. Conventionally, training relies on bedside teaching and frontal lectures that have been previously shown to be limited as tools for adult learning and for the establishment of self-efficacy.
Aim To evaluate the impact of a simulation based nursing curriculum embedded into the training of novice PICU nurses on the development of self-efficacy and the acquisition of relevant skills.
Method During a one year period novice nurses were surveyed monthly for evaluation of self-efficacy in 40 domains characteristic of specific competencies needed at the PICU. During the training focused simulation based sessions targeting specific domains were performed and the effect of simulation was evaluated in comparison to bed-side teaching.
Results A total of 93 questioners were collected. As expected, a mild consistent rise in self-efficacy for all 40 domains was seen during the follow up period. However, we have observed a significant and steep rise in self-efficacy following a relevant simulation based session in which specific domains were targeted. This rise was sustained throughout the follow-up and was significantly higher than the expected rise achieved by conventional teaching.
Conclusions We have shown that the implementation of a targeted simulation based curriculum is an effective method for training novice PICU nurses, leading to a faster and more efficient acquisition of competency and self-efficacy. Our study suggest that targeted simulation based curriculums may improve training of various teams from different disciplines.