Virtual Standardized Patient

Main Article Content

Dr. Kristy Oden
Dr. Michelle Nelson
Dr. Marilyn Lee


Background: Higher education nursing programs include a physical/health assessment course that prepares graduates to provide excellent care based on data collected through assessment. Finding a teaching strategy that engages students as well as educates them in health assessment techniques is a challenge that all nurse educators share.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine the level of engagement and learning that occurred with undergraduate and graduate students who participated in a health assessment course that included the use of an online virtual standardized patient (VSP).

Design: Quantitative, descriptive survey research was utilized to determine student nurses’ perception of the use of VSP in a physical assessment course. 

Setting/Participants: Students in a traditional on-campus BSN program and students in an online RN to BSN and MSN program were included in this study.

Methods: After receiving IRB approval, course leaders provided students a standardized questionnaire of two (2) multiple choice and six (6) Likert-style questions. The questions evaluated the participants’ ease of use, comparison of interaction between online virtual and live human patients, ability to perform an exam on a virtual patient, and ability to communicate with a virtual patient.  Questionnaires were administered to volunteers in the three identified health assessment courses (BSN, RN-BSN, and MSN).  Also evaluated was the participant’s perception of their ability to transfer knowledge from the VSP to the live patient.  All students participated in the VSP with completion of the questionnaire optional.

Results: Findings in this study generally supported the educational value of using a virtual standardized patient in teaching both undergraduate and graduate students’ health assessment. Variations between the groups were found.

Conclusion: Use of a virtual standardized patient is a positive teaching strategy for teaching health assessment in both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.


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Article Details

How to Cite
Oden, D. K., Nelson, D. M., & Lee, D. M. (2018). Virtual Standardized Patient. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 6(6), 67-75.
Author Biographies

Dr. Kristy Oden, University of North Alabama, USA

Associate Professor, Anderson College of Nursing

Dr. Michelle Nelson, University of North Alabama, USA

Associate Professor, Anderson College of Nursing

Dr. Marilyn Lee, University of North Alabama, USA

Professor Emeritus, Anderson College of Nursing


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