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Telemedicine simulation in online family nurse practitioner education

Clinical competency and technology integration

Ainslie, Marcy EdD, APRN, FNP (FNP Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor)1; Bragdon, Cheryl MS, RN, CNE, CHSE (DNHP Resource Center Coordinator)2

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: August 2018 - Volume 30 - Issue 8 - p 430–434
doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000071
Brief Report

Background and purpose: Assessment of clinical competency in distance education programs presents new challenges and yet is imperative to patient safety and continued success of the profession. Furthermore, employers increasingly expect a skill set in current informational technologies. Clinical competence has been assessed using high stakes, standardized patient simulation in traditional, on-campus educational programs. Telemedicine technology integrated with standardized patient simulations may provide a solution for teaching the essentials of information technology and provide a modality for clinical competency assessment in distance education.

Methods: Telemedicine was introduced to students via a formative, didactic assignment. This preparation facilitated the use of telemedicine technology integrated with standardized patient simulations to assess clinical competency of online students. In addition, this format required students to apply the fundamentals of informational technologies.

Conclusion: Combining the modality of telemedicine with high stakes, standardized patient simulation to assess clinical competence is innovative and ensures high standards in distant education while addressing the preparation of students in the use of emerging technologies.

Implications for practice: Telemedicine integrated with human standardized patient simulation is a promising modality for clinical competency assessment and determination of program progression in distance education. In addition, students become accustomed to the informational technologies encountered in the workplace.

1Division of Nursing and Health Sciences, Rivier University, Nashua, New Hampshire,

2Rivier University, Nashua, New Hampshire

Correspondence: Marcy Ainslie, EdD, APRN, FNP, Division of Nursing and Health Sciences, Rivier University, 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060. Tel: 603-897-8475; E-mail:

Competing interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Authors' contributions: M. Ainslie conducted the literature review on which the history and background was developed, as well as the sections titled Current Practice of Clinical Competency Assessment, Competency Based Clinical Assessment and Technological Advancement, and Future Research. C. Bragdon developed the section titled Transitioning to Distant Education Clinical Competency Assessment.

Received October 30, 2017

Accepted April 10, 2018

© 2018 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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