Surgical Skills for the APRN Student: A Low-Fidelity Simulation Experience
There are many contemporary areas of practice available to the ACNP to date that encompass a surgical component of practice. Surgical specialty settings require a practitioner to be competent in a specialized base of knowledge as well as possess a fundamental set of psychomotor skills to practice competently. Unlike the training of the PA, ACNP programs do not typically address surgical theory or skills. The purpose of the program was to increase graduate nursing student confidence in basic surgical skills. The review of the literature examined the differences between the educational preparation of the PA and the NP, expansion of the NP role in surgery, as well as the use of simulation in graduate nursing education. The program incorporated a surgical skills lab concluding with a low-fidelity simulation experience. Skills addressed included the surgical hand scrub, donning surgical attire, and simple wound closure techniques. The sample comprised of 13 subjects representing 65% of the population meeting the inclusion criteria. The program was evaluated using a researcher designed and validated non-experimental Likert type survey measuring subject confidence both pre and post intervention. Responses to the nine Likert scale questions demonstrated a statistical increase from the pre-intervention to the post-intervention survey. Two participants reported utilized the new attained knowledge and skills during their final semester surgical clinical practicum. Incorporating surgical theory and skill training into graduate nursing education is vital if the ACNP would like to remain competitive with the PA in the surgical specialty job market.