A protocol for a scoping review of the use of mental simulation and full-scale simulation in practising healthcare decision-making skills of undergraduate nursing students

Burcu Dogan, Natalie Pattison*, Rebecca Scott, Guillaume Alinier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aim: This scoping review aims to explore the effect of FSS and mental simulation on the decision-making skills of nursing students. Background: Full-scale simulation (FSS) has been the most used simulation modality in nursing education due to its applicability to enhance both technical and non-technical skills. However, FSS can be excessively costly and other factors such as technophobia and lack of trained staff and support make FSS less accessible, especially for nursing education. Therefore, a novel mental simulation that is interactive and supported by visual elements can be a substitute for FSS, at least for some of the skills, such as clinical decision-making. Reviews comparing the effectiveness of FSS and mental simulation on decision-making skills in nursing students are lacking. Further knowledge on the effectiveness of these two modalities on decision-making skills for nursing students is needed to inform the nursing education curriculum and to decide between the two modalities. Design: This protocol adheres to the guidelines outlined in the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-scr) checklist. Method: The methodological framework for scoping reviews will be followed for this scoping review. Scopus, EBSCOhost the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE and for the grey literature ERIC and BASE will be searched for related studies. The search will be limited to January 2008 and April 2023 (up-to-date) and English. A detailed search strategy was developed with an experienced research information manager and this strategy will be adapted to each database. A single screening will be performed by an author who will screen all abstracts and titles and full-text publications. After the study selection step of the framework, the data from the included studies will be charted using a data extraction form. The data will be synthesised by comparing the effect of FSS and mental simulation on decision-making skills. Conclusion: A synopsis of the publication on FSS and mental simulation on nurse students’ decision-making skills will be useful for stakeholders when choosing between two modalities to deliver decision-making skills to nursing students and also help to inform the nursing education and simulation practice. Scoping Review Registration: Protocols.io (doi: 10.17504/protocols.io.e6nvw57y7vmk/v1)

Original languageEnglish
Article number103699
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date30 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

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