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The purposes of this research were 1) to explore current instructional practices and problems of using simulation-based learning (SBL) approach to teach nursing student in a maternal-newborn nursing and midwifery course and 2) to study needs for its improvement. Participants were 151 fourth-year undergraduate nursing students in the first semester of an academic year 2016 and seven instructors in the Maternal and Newborn Department of Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Data from nursing students were collected by using The Current Instructional Practices and Problems of SBL in the Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Midwifery Course Questionnaire developed by the researchers and validated by three experts in nursing education and instructional design. Its Cronbachs alpha correlation coefficient was .91. Using an open-ended interview guide developed by the researchers, one focus group was conducted among the instructors. Obtained quantitative data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics and qualitative data were examined by using content analysis technique.
The study findings have revealed that students perceived the overall current instructional practices and problems of SBL in the maternal-newborn nursing and midwifery course, the overall current practices were at a good level (mean = 3.83; SD = 0.80). The highest mean score was in the instructional activities of SBL (M = 3.95, SD = .52) and the lowest was in the contents of SBL (M = 3.69, SD = .64). They thought that SBL approach helped them understand contents better than traditional lecture did and easier to apply learned skills for clinical nursing practices. Future instructional design should allow the students to have more time to learn and practice.
Instructors addressed that three issues influencing on teaching with SBL: instructional planning process, instructional implication, and instructional evaluation. Most problems found in instructional planning process because of workload and a time limit and in instructional implication because a number of students and how the simulation was set up. All instructor would like to attend training courses to improve their teaching skills. Finding of this study can be used to redesign the maternal-newborn nursing and midwifery course suitable for nursing students in the 21st century.