Using the Digital Clinical Experience™ as Evidence for the Accreditation Process of Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Using the Digital Clinical Experience™ as Evidence for the Accreditation Process of Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Accreditation is like a stamp of approval for nursing programs, showing they’re good and getting better. Shadow Health and its Digital Clinical Experience™ can really help nursing programs that want this approval. They have proof that can meet the requirements for student learning. Here are some examples from their research about how this works:

Checking Learning Tools and Methods:
In the digital experience, students can practice talking to virtual patients, write down what they find, and learn from it. Teachers can use this to test students, prepare them for labs, or replace real clinical experiences. It’s used in courses like health assessment, pharmacology, mental health, and more.

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End-of-Program Learning:
The digital experience can show how well students are learning. Each assignment gives a score that shows how well students are doing. This score can measure how well they’re learning to think like a nurse. It checks their ability to gather information, talk with patients, and plan care.

Health and Safety Goals:
There’s a group called the QSEN Institute that helps make sure nurses know what they need to do. They’ve teamed up with Shadow Health to show how students are learning about patient care, working together, and being safe. These digital experiences tell students how they’re doing and how to do better.

If you want more details, you can read the full whitepaper to see how Shadow Health’s virtual patient scenarios can really help nursing programs get their approval.


For nursing programs, accreditation guides quality and further improvement for the best possible student outcomes. Shadow Health and its Digital Clinical Experience™ can play a vital role in providing undergraduate nursing programs pursuing accreditation with some of the evidence necessary to meet criteria related to student learning outcomes across the curriculum.

Outlined below are some examples from Shadow Health’s Research Brief, Using the Digital Clinical Experience™ as Evidence for the Accreditation Process of Undergraduate Nursing Programs on how virtual patient scenarios can meet accreditation requirements.

​Evaluation​ ​tools/methodologies​ ​for​ ​didactic​ ​content,​ ​laboratory​ ​content,​ ​and​ ​clinical learning experiences

A standardized clinical experience through Shadow Health can help students practice their communication and assessment skills in a safe learning environment. In the Digital Clinical Experience™, students can interview and examine virtual patients, apply therapeutic communication skills, synthesize their findings on an electronic health record, and engage in debriefing activities following virtual patient examination. Faculty can integrate the Digital Clinical Experience™ in their curriculum as formative assessments, prerequisites for entry to laboratory sessions, or replace traditional clinical experiences. This includes courses in the curriculum like health assessment, pharmacology, mental health, gerontology, maternal health, pediatrics, and leadership.

End-of-program​ ​student​ ​learning​ ​outcomes​ ​that​ ​can be​ ​identified and evaluated

The Digital Clinical Experience™ can provide substantial evidence to support the end-of-program student learning and program outcomes through direct learning activities, evaluation methodologies, clinical learning experiences, and practice learning environments. Each assignment of the Digital Clinical Experience™ contains a validated score that consolidates several dimensions of student performance on the simulation. The Student Performance Index™ can show valid and reliable measurement of relevant student learning outcomes as a measure of clinical reasoning. Shadow Health’s Student Performance Index™ evaluates each student’s clinical reasoning abilities against the level expected of a high-performing graduate after their program. The Student Performance Index™ automatically assesses a student’s abilities in collecting subjective and objective data, applying therapeutic communication, and developing care plans across Shadow Health undergraduate products.

Diverse​ ​concepts,​ ​best​ ​practices,​ ​and​ ​nationally​ ​established​ ​patient health and safety goals

The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Institute has partnered with Shadow Health to map the QSEN competencies of patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety, and informatics to the Undergraduate Mental Health and Gerontology Digital Clinical Experiences™. These simulations provide students with detailed feedback on how their performance on subjective data collection, objective data collection, and therapeutic communication demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of a student nurse. Through this feedback, students can understand and improve their skills to improve the quality and safety of the nursing care that they provide.

Read more in the whitepaper here on how virtual patient scenarios like Shadow Health can further help the undergraduate nursing accreditation process

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