Hilton (1996) contends that students need a realistic, safe environment that allows them time to practice nursing procedures and caring skills without fear of endangering patients.
The literature available suggests that nursing students have many anxieties concerning their preparation for placement including, fear of causing harm to patients and a concern in relation to their own level of competence on registration (Neary 1997).
The creation of a clinical skills environment within the academic setting can enable experiential learning to occur.(Cioffi 2001).
The nursing clinical skills suites in the Institute of Technology are provided for learning. In the nursing clinical skills suites the student can learn under supervision, and then practice their newly acquired skills on their own in the suites during scheduled self directed learning sessions. The aim of the dual approach is to allow the student to become competent in carrying out clinical procedures. In this way, students learn in a controlled setting.
The Nursing Clinical Skills Suites are designed to provide a simulated clinical learning environment. The student can learn the clinical skills of nursing through communicating and interacting with peers and experienced facilitators in a safe, non threatening and friendly setting. Facilitators strive to utilise innovative teaching / learning methodologies in order to engage the student within the simulated learning experience. Ultimately the team endeavour to assist in the development of a competent registered nurse who can deliver nursing skills
effectively and efficiently in the clinical setting.