Topping, Annie, Bøje, Rikke Buus, Rekola, Leena, Hartvigsen, Tina, Prescott, Stephen, Bland, Andrew, Hope, Angela, Haho, Paivi and Hannula, Leena (2015) Towards identifying nurse educator competencies required for simulation-based learning: A systemised rapid review and synthesis. Nurse Education Today, 35 (11). pp. 1108-1113. ISSN 0260-6917


This paper presents the results of a systemised rapid review and synthesis of the literature undertaken to identify competencies required by nurse educators to facilitate simulation-based learning (SBL).


An international collaboration undertook a protocol-based search, retrieval and critical review.

Data Sources

Web of Science, PubMed, CINAHL Plus, PsycInfo, ERIC, the Cochrane Library and Science Direct. The search was limited to articles published in English, 2002–2012.

Review Methods

The search terms used: nurse*, learn*, facilitator, simula*, lecturer, competence, skill*, qualificat*, educator, health care, “patient simulation”, “nursing education” and “faculty”. The search yielded 2156 “hits”, following a review of the abstracts, 72 full-text articles were extracted. These were screened against predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria and nine articles were retained. Following critical appraisal, the articles were analyzed using an inductive approach to extract statements for categorization and synthesis as competency statements.


This review confirmed that there was a modest amount of empirical evidence on which to base a competency framework. Those papers that provided descriptions of educator preparation identified simulation-based workshops, or experiential training, as the most common approaches for enhancing skills. SBL was not associated with any one theoretical perspective. Delivery of SBL appeared to demand competencies associated with planning and designing simulations, facilitating learning in “safe” environments, expert nursing knowledge based on credible clinical realism, reference to evidence-based knowledge and demonstration of professional values and identity.


This review derived a preliminary competency framework. This needs further development as a model for educators delivering SBL as part of nursing curricula

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