Virtual Simulation in Nursing Education: A Systematic Review Spanning 1996 to 2018

Cynthia L. Foronda, Margo Fernandez-Burgos, Catherine Nadeau, Courtney N. Kelley, Myrthle N. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Summary Statement As virtual simulation is burgeoning, faculty and administrators are asking for evidence of its effectiveness. The objective of this systematic review was to identify how virtual simulation impacts nursing student learning outcomes. Applying the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines, 80 studies were reviewed. Results indicate that most research (n = 69, 86%) supported virtual simulation as an effective pedagogy to support learning outcomes while highlighting gaps and areas of bias. Adding search terms could have expanded the findings. The body of evidence supports virtual simulation as an effective pedagogy. Future studies should use more robust research designs, prioritize curricular integration of virtual simulation, and determine best practices in virtual simulation methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Simulation training
  • computer simulation
  • nursing
  • virtual simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation


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