Hey Champs! Just read a great article on pages 4 – 5 of the Summer 2011 edition of NLN’s “Voice for Nursing Education” Member Newsletter entitled “Who in the World is Stella – And Why Do Students and Faculty Love Her?”
The article shares how Diana Breed, MSN, RN, and Karin J. Sherrill, MSN, RN, CNE from the Maricopa Nursing Program at Mesa Community College in Arizona have created a virtual persona for Stella, a 15 year old manikin, and her simulated family. Using Facebook and blogposts, Diana and Karin provide encouragement and reassurance to Maricopa Nursing students suggesting “the skills lab will be available if you want extra practice”.
The NLN article continues to share the benefits of crafting this online persona:
“From the nurse educator’s perspective, Stella’s value is three-fold, according to Diana, the lead instructor for third-semester students in what is a four-semester program leading to licensure.
First, said Diana, Stella’s Facebook postings link the different blocks of MCC nursing students, fostering networking among students who wouldn’t ordinarily communicate with one another. “Stella sends messages to students in one block that will be seen by students in a different block,” she explained.
Second, Stella can be a very effective as an educational tool to promote critical thinking, as… students chime in… [with answers to critical thinking questions].
Finally, Diana noted, messages posted on Stella’s Facebook page can be a window into difficulties students may be having that they are reluctant to share with faculty off line.”
What a great way to engage students with simulation! Don’t forget to join me in becoming friends with Stella on Facebook!