Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology

First Committee Member

LeAnn G. Putney

Number of Pages



Graduates of registered nurse educational programs are expected to bring some degree of preparedness for intervening in emergency situations. However, within the clinical portion of the curricula a student may not have the opportunity to observe and or participate in patient respiratory or cardiac resuscitation. Volunteer participants, student nurses, engaged in practice with a human simulator (SimMan) and teacher guided dialogue to assist in the construction of nursing knowledge in a safe, supportive environment. SimMan was programmed with eight scenarios depicting common patient emergency situations. Simulations and debriefings were videotaped and transcribed. Post employment interviews were audio taped and transcribed. Discourse analysis was utilized to determine if the simulations assisted the students to incorporate the language used in verbal communication within the usual discourse of the setting and the discipline, as well as incorporating previous and new information; Participants demonstrated acquisition of meaning of selected scientific concepts and constructed a personal scaffold of learning. Employed graduates, reported that simulation and debriefing, was consequential in their progress as a student, as well as a new nurse employee. It accelerated their confidence in assuming the appropriate role responsibilities, hastened participation, and lessened hesitancy in acting.


Clinical Training; Cognition; Concept; Distributed Cognition; Learning; Nursing Education; Shared Cognition; Simulations; Situated Cognition; Vygotsky

Controlled Subject

Educational psychology; Cognitive psychology; Social psychology

File Format


File Size

2734.08 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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