The recent shift in healthcare delivery from that of the hospital to the community calls for skilled community health nurses. The role and practice of community health nurses differs from that of a nurse clinician. Unlike the skills required for that of a nurse clinician, much of the skills required for community health nursing and their application cannot be developed and practised within newly developed and highly innovative practice laboratory facilities where the focus of patient care is the individual. Virtual simulation (and serious gaming) presents a viable, cost-effective training option for community health nursing trainees, providing the opportunity to practise within an interactive, engaging, and safe environment. In this chapter we review and examine the use of virtual simulation (including serious gaming) in health care education with a particular emphasis on community health nursing. Findings demonstrate that students and nursing educators recognize the value of virtual simulation in community health nursing education. Best practices in simulation development indicate that a framework that guides the design, implementation, and evaluation should be employed. Assessment methods of student learning have been suggested however, further research is needed on assessment techniques and learning outcomes to demonstrate that virtual simulation may be a sound pedagogical tool.
Djaouti, D., Alvarez, J., Jessel, J., Rampnoux, O.: Origins of serious games. In: Ma, M., Oikonomou, A., Jain, L.C. (eds.) Serious Games and Edutainment Applications, pp. 25–43. Springer, London (2011)