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Mary Katherine Bjorklund

Nursing 2017 Speaker -  Mary Katherine Bjorklund

Title: Increasing Competence in Associate Degree Nursing Students Through Virtual Simulation

Mary Katherine Bjorklund

Lone star College Kingwood, USA


I received my BSN from Texas Woman’s University and MSN from the University of Phoenix. While active in the clinical setting my specialty was pediatrics and I hold a certification in pediatrics. I have 16 years teaching experience in diploma, baccalaureate, and associate degree nursing programs. I have taught online as well as teaching in the classroom. Currently I serve as faculty on the simulation team at Lone Star College-Kingwood.


Our nursing program received a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The faculty were unable to offer simulation to all of the students in the nursing program because of lack of space and simulation faculty. With the monies from the grant the simulation faculty developed a simulation plan for the first semester students to utilize virtual simulation. The faculty believed by immersing the students in virtual simulation prior to live simulation experiences it would not only help our lack of space issue but improve our HESI exam scores. Our target was to improve the HESI mean score to 850 and 800 in the areas of pediatrics, fundamentals, and psychiatric nursing. Over the course of the two year grant period the HESI mean score improved from 812-889. The three target areas had the following improvements: psychiatric nursing 13%, fundamentals 22%, and pediatrics 13%. Virtual simulation has become an integral part of students nursing program. We start these assignments from the beginning of the nursing program with the intent to develop critical thinking skills. The research from the implementation of virtual simulation early prior to immersion in live simulations demonstrates the effectiveness of the use of virtual simulation.