ACU NurseSimTM Trial


Project Title: Randomised control trial exploring the efficacy of NurseSim

Application Number: (2017-189H)

Principal Investigator: Dr Stephen Guinea


Quick Start Guide

Comprehensive User Guide

The aim of this research project is to investigate the effectiveness of NurseSim, a computer-based simulation program designed for learning a range of fundamental nursing skills. Whilst there are many products on the market designed to assist the learning of clinical skills, the effectiveness of many of these is unknown. The objective of this study is to compare people who prepare for clinical skills assessments in the usual manner to people who use NurseSim in addition to the usual manner. Comparison will take the form of length of time and number of attempts required to complete a clinical skills assessment. This study is important because it will provide much needed evidence for educators to make informed decisions about the effectiveness of learning resources for the development of clinical nursing skills.

This project is being led by Dr Stephen Guinea (PhD) of Australian Catholic University, in collaboration with Dr Mark Symmons (PhD) of Australian Catholic University. Both have a strong background in research into learning and teaching approaches, specifically simulation-based learning in a health-professional education. Other people involved in this study include Alison Sanders from TAFE SA, and Mathew Balic from ETRAIN (developer of NurseSim).

There are no foreseeable risks associated with the project. Participants will be completing any clinical assessment task as is currently part of course requirements. There is a risk that participants may not pass the skills assessment. Participants who are unsuccessful at their first attempt will be provided with a second attempt. This is the same risk and current processes for skills assessments implemented at this institution. Participants who are unsuccessful at the first attempt of a clinical skills assessment will be provided with access to NurseSim prior to a second attempt.

If you feel the need to talk to someone about your performance we urge you to contact your Course Coordinator or counselling services provided by your institution.

If you consent to participate in this study, participation in the project will involve the following:


  • You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire requesting demographic information such as your course, unit of study, you age, nursing experience, language spoken at home and so on. You will also be asked for your institution email address (student email if you are a student, work email if you are a qualified nurse). The researchers will use this email to communicate with you ONLY about this project. You will also be asked for a numerical identifier (student number if a students, employee number if you are a qualified nurse). This number will be used to match your different sources of data from this study.
  • Within 48 hours of completing this questionnaire, you will be notified whether you have been randomly allocated to the Intervention Group (access to NurseSim) or the Control Group (no NurseSim). Participants allocated to the Intervention Group will receive an internet link and instructions to access NurseSim as a resource (additional to existing resources) for the preparation of the clinical skills assessment. The Control Group will prepare for the clinical skills assessment using existing resources.
  • Both the Intervention Group and Control Group will undertake the clinical skills assessment according to normal practice at your institution. Both the Intervention Group and Control Group will undertake the clinical skills assessment according to normal practice at your institution.
  • You will then be asked to complete a second online questionnaire. This questionnaire will ask what resources you used to prepare for the skills assessment and your level of confidence in the clinical skill prior to the skills assessment. Participants allocated to the Intervention Group will be asked questions about perceptions of NurseSim as a learning resource.

It is expected that the time required to complete the questionnaires will be approximately 10 minutes each.

There is no mandatory time set for the preparation of the clinical skills assessments.

The clinical skills assessments are an existing requirement of your course. Accordingly, there is no additional time required for the skills assessment.

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You are not under any obligation to participate. If you agree to participate, you can withdraw from the study at any time without adverse consequences.

If you choose to withdraw from the study, you can request to have any data you have provided removed by contacting the lead researcher up to one month after providing your data. It will not be possible to remove your data after one month as data after this time will be de-identified and aggregated. Participation or non-participation in this project will in no way affect your ongoing relationship with the researchers or educators at your institution.

Data will be published in project reports, in publications and in conference presentations. However individual participants will not be identifiable as only aggregated (group) and de-identified data will be published.

Participants wishing to learn about the results of the study will be able to access this via the project website in the latter part of 2018.

If you have any questions about the project please contact Dr Stephen Guinea ( or Dr Mark Symmons (

The study has been reviewed by the Human Research Ethics Committee at Australian Catholic University (review number 2017-189H).If you have any complaints or concerns about the conduct of the project, you may write to the Manager of the Human Research Ethics Committee care of the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).

Manager, Ethics
c/o Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)
Australian Catholic University
North Sydney Campus
PO Box 968
Ph.: 02 9739 2519
Fax: 02 9739 2870

Any complaint or concern will be treated in confidence and fully investigated. You will be informed of the outcome.

I want to participate! How do I sign up?

To participate please click the “SIGN UP” button below. By signing up and entering your demographic data you are consenting to participate in this project.



© 2019 Etrain Interactive. All rights reserved.