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competence, education, nurses, simulation, student nurses, wound care



  1. Kielo-Viljamaa, Emilia PhD, RN
  2. Ahtiala, Maarit RN
  3. Suhonen, Riitta PhD, RN
  4. Stolt, Minna PhD


OBJECTIVE: To describe the development and use of a wound care simulation assessing RNs' and graduating student nurses' practical wound care competence and to describe observations of participants' wound care competence.


METHODS: A descriptive, qualitative design was used. Data were collected in 2019 from 50 healthcare professionals and students using a simulated wound care situation and an imaginary patient case. The simulation was based on a previously developed and tested wound care competence assessment instrument, which included a 14-item checklist that assesses practical wound care competence of chronic wounds. The data were analyzed and described based on the 14 competence areas or as other competencies.


RESULTS: Participants showed competence in identification of wound infection, debridement, dressing selection, tissue type identification, and consultation. Participants' shortcomings were related to pain assessment and management, asepsis, offloading, and documentation. Simulation was shown to be a promising tool to assess healthcare professionals' and students' practical wound care competence in a safe and standardized situation.


CONCLUSIONS: This study provided new information about simulation as a method to assess student nurses' and RNs' wound care competence. The results could be used in wound care education planning and development in both undergraduate nursing education and continuing education for nursing professionals.