HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 17-19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA

October 17 -19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA
NWC 2023

Sonia Mendez

Speaker at Nursing Conference - Sonia Mendez
North York General Hospital, Canada
Title : Clinical simulation and game-based learning: Teaching patient safety while promoting nursing competency


Nursing education is in constant evolution. Teaching methodologies are also evolving to match learning needs of new graduate nurses impacted by the pandemic. With limited clinical hands-on experience, new nurses entering the healthcare system, as well as educators are presented with unique challenges. Clinical simulation has gained increased popularity by way of delivering information in a controlled and safe environment. Furthermore, simulation became the methodology of choice in delivering education during the pandemic. To further promote nursing engagement, interactive information delivery, and quality of learning, gamification has become the latest method to improve engagement and knowledge retention. The use of clinical simulation and gamification encourages team-based collaboration, engagement, and enhanced learning while having fun.

In preparation for the annual Surgical Retreat Day for nurses in the inpatient General Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery units, the clinical nurse educators of a community-based hospital developed a curriculum focusing on patient safety and nursing competency. With increased success rate of simulation coupled with gamification, clinical nurse educators developed the “This is an emergency” escape room to focus on patient safety protocols of the organization, with the emphasis on the falls prevention program and protected code blue (March 20, 2023: n=41, March 22, 2023: n=40, March 23, 2023: n=43). In small groups of 5-8 nurses, each group worked through a scenario concentrating on the elements of the falls prevention program and protected code blue. Ten clue cards were strategically placed throughout the room for nurses to complete in order to “escape” out of the room, in which the nurses were encouraged to work collaboratively to complete each task. Facilitators were present in the room to assist staff with questions and/or clarifications of clues. A debrief occurred once the groups had completed the game. A discussion amongst the group generated questions, role clarifications, and lessons learned from the simulated game. 

Teaching methodologies in nursing have evolved over time. The use of simulation and gamification have demonstrated an excellent strategy with the promotion of patient safety and nursing competency while simultaneously improving collaboration and decision-making skills. The curriculum designed for the inpatient surgical units reinforced nursing knowledge and practical skills while learning in a fun and safe environment.  Evaluation and feedback resulted in positivity with 98 % of respondents reporting excellent, 88% well done, 20% satisfactory with a total participant group of 124 nurses. While this simulation and gamification method was used specifically for nurses in the surgical inpatient units, the escape room clues and skill can be used and adapted to other members of the interdisciplinary team in a hospital setting. 

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Learn curriculum development strategies that are interactive and can be taught in a controlled setting where learners feel safe and supported to learn.  
  • Educators learn innovative and dynamic teaching strategies that are inclusive to learners with diverse learning styles and expertise levels. 
  • Simulation and game-based learning integrates knowledge and clinical skills for enhanced patient safety and increased nursing competencies. 
  • The emphasis of applicability of case scenarios ensures transfer of learning occurs at different stages of the game, which is related to reinforcement and retention of knowledge. 


Sonia Mendez is a Clinical Nurse Educator for the Orthopaedic Surgery Inpatient Unit, Pre-operative Clinic and Post Anesthesia Care Unit at North York General Hospital. As part of the Professional Practice team, Sonia is committed to safe, quality and excellence in nursing practice. Significant contributions to nursing profession and patient care include co-lead of the Surgical Program for Accreditation 2021, redeployment education during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and ongoing recruitment of new staff devising innovative education strategies and support. 

As a Clinical Nurse Educator for over 5 years earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ryerson University and a Master of Science in Nursing with specialization in Nursing Education from Aspen University, teaching and learning has been an integral part of my nursing professional career. A dedicated nursing leader highly regarded for collaboration and commitment to nursing care through evidence-based practice. Leverages strong communication and professional nursing practice to foster meaningful and trusting relationships with nurses, students, and the interprofessional team. Learner-centered leader, facilitator, and mentor who champions learner achievements while promoting a safe and positive learning environment who thrives in fast-paced, diverse, and research-oriented environment.

With extensive surgical nursing background for over 12 years, promotion of nursing education to improve nursing practice is a passion to foster confidence, knowledge, and skills among nurses and members of the interprofessional team. As a leader with a strong academic foundation for teaching, a commitment to improve nursing education delivery through innovative and creative strategies and foster integration of research-based knowledge through nursing excellence for optimal patient outcome.