Simulation in Continuous Professional Development: benefits and strategies 

Mohammed Al-Hassan
Cite Simulation in Continuous Professional Development: benefits and strategies  icon
Share Simulation in Continuous Professional Development: benefits and strategies  icon

Simulation in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is scientifically proven to enhance healthcare education, equipping nurses with vital skills for quality patient care. It offers a safe environment for skill development, critical decision-making, and teamwork, bridging the gap between theory and practice. This article presents science-backed benefits alongside effective strategies to increase its impact in nursing professional development. These elements not only foster individual growth but also improve overall patient safety and care standards, showcasing simulation in CPD as a critical, evidence-based tool in healthcare advancement.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is essential for healthcare professionals to remain at the forefront of their field, equipped with the latest skills and knowledge. Simulation is an immersive learning experience that replicates real-world clinical scenarios and bridges the gap between theory and practice. It provides, in fact, a secure space for learners to practice clinical skills, decision-making, and critical thinking, fostering competence and confidence that translates directly into enhanced patient care outcomes (de Carvalho Filho, Sehlbach, and Martin, 2023). Therefore, simulation is a cornerstone of CPD in nursing and offers a transformative approach to experiential learning.

In this article we bring you evidence-backed benefits of simulation and strategies for maximizing its impact in CPD for Nurses.


  1. Safe Skill Development

Simulation provides a risk-free environment for learners to practice and refine their clinical skills. This safe space allows them to make mistakes and learn without harming real patients or themselves (Lotte Pannekoeke et al., 2023).

  1. Reflective Practice

Simulation supports reflective practice by enabling learners to assess their performance, identify areas for improvement, and create personalized learning plans (Tavares, 2019). This self-assessment and reflection are crucial for ongoing professional development.

  1. Teamwork Education

Simulation promotes effective teamwork by allowing learners to collaborate with professionals from various disciplines and backgrounds. It fosters communication, cooperation, and collaborative problem-solving (de Carvalho Filho, Sehlbach, and Martin, 2023).

  1. Exposure to Diverse Scenarios

Simulation exposes learners to a wide range of clinical situations, including rare or complex cases, emergencies, and interprofessional collaboration. This broad exposure expands their experiences and prepares them for real-world practice (Tavares, 2019).


  1. Embracing Experiential Learning

Simulation immerses nurses in lifelike clinical scenarios, enabling them to practice critical thinking and decision-making. This hands-on approach bridges the theory-practice gap, enhancing confidence and competence (de Carvalho Filho, Sehlbach, and Martin, 2023).

  1. Personalized Learning

Simulation offers tailored learning experiences, allowing nurses to focus on areas that align with their practice. Whether it is an emergency department or specialized pediatric unit, this personalized approach enhances their professional growth (Tavares, 2019).

  1. Fostering Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Healthcare thrives on collaboration, and simulation provides opportunities for interprofessional learning. Nurses engage with professionals from diverse healthcare backgrounds, fostering teamwork and communication skills that improve patient outcomes (Hulse, 2022).

  1. Seamless Integration of Emerging Technologies

The rapidly evolving healthcare landscape requires nurses to adapt to new technologies and procedures. Simulation prepares them by allowing hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment and techniques, reducing the learning curve in clinical practice (Mather, Gale, and Cummings, 2017).

  1. Continuous Improvement Through Reflection

Simulation goes beyond skills enhancement, it cultivates a culture of continuous improvement. Post-scenario debriefing sessions encourage nurses to analyze their decisions, actions, and outcomes, leading to areas for growth and a commitment to excellence (Fey and Jenkins, 2015).

  1. Flexibility for Lifelong Learning

Nurses’ professional journeys are marked by continuous learning and growth. Simulation provides diverse learning formats, including in-person and virtual scenarios, accommodating busy schedules and personal preferences for ongoing development (Mlambo, Silén, and McGrath, 2021).

In conclusion, simulation provides healthcare professionals with a dynamic and adaptable learning environment that enhances their competence and prepares them for the ever-evolving healthcare landscape. It not only fosters individual growth but also improves patient safety and the quality of care. The integration of simulation into Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for healthcare professionals is a game-changer. It brings realistic scenarios, personalized learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and technology integration to the forefront. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, healthcare professionals equipped with simulation driven CPD will be well-prepared to deliver the highest quality care while staying ahead of industry advancements.


de Carvalho Filho, M. A., Sehlbach, C., & Martin, A. (2023). Co-Constructive Patient Simulation as an Experiential Tool for Continuing Professional Development in Healthcare. Journal of CME, 12(1), 2192378.

Lotte Pannekoeke, Stakkestad, A., Kambe, M., Johanne, K., & Dahl, H. (2023). Ongoing training and peer feedback in simulation-based learning for local faculty development: A participation action research study. Nurse Education Today, 124, 105768–105768.

Tavares, W. (2019). Roads less traveled: understanding the “why” in simulation as an integrated continuing professional development activity. Advances in Simulation, 4(1).

Mather, C. A., Gale, F., & Cummings, E. A. (2017). Governing Mobile Technology Use for Continuing Professional Development in the Australian Nursing Profession. BMC Nursing, 16(1).

Fey, M. K., & Jenkins, L. S. (2015). Debriefing Practices in Nursing Education Programs: Results from a National Study. Nursing education perspectives, 36(6), 361–366.

Hulse, A. L. (2022). A Multidisciplinary Learning approach: a Narrative Review. British Journal of Nursing, 31(7), 364–370.

Mlambo, M., Silén, C., & McGrath, C. (2021). Lifelong Learning and Nurses’ Continuing Professional development, a Metasynthesis of the Literature. BMC Nursing, 20(62), 1–13.


Mohammed Al-Hassan

Mohammed Al-Hassan

University of Calgary in Qatar View all Posts
Elham Al-Omari

Elham Al-Omari

University of Calgary in Qatar View all Posts

Leave a Reply

Join our newsletter

All the sim news, straight to your inbox.
Receive monthly the best research, innovations and stories on healthcare simulation

Join our newsletter