Promoting the Social Skills of Millennial Nursing Students


The evolution of the social landscape creates new challenges for nursing practice and education. In this regard, it is essential to develop productive administrative interventions, which would enhance the efficiency of the learning process, preparing students for the actual work environment. For contemporary nursing educators, the primary objective is to construct a fitting approach for working with millennials pursuing nursing degrees up to a Master’s level. One of the key competencies to be nurtured among them is the ability to form solid interpersonal relations. Modern conditions require nurses to excel in this area in order to create trusting relationships with their patients. Today’s nursing is done by people and for people, thus explaining the person-centered paradigm of care. In addition, the lack of interpersonal skills may lead to inefficient actions of young nurses in stressful situations.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this paper is to address an intervention opportunity to promote the social skills of millennial nursing students. In the PICOT form, it is formulated as follows: “In millennial generation nursing students (P) how does simulation using mannequins (I) compare to other teaching techniques (C) in providing interpersonal skills to students (O) during one academic school year (T)?” The chosen intervention implies the use of advanced simulation scenarios that place students into life-like situations, allowing them to practice essential interpersonal skills. Modern technology is highly advanced, and practice mannequins can fit a variety of needs. From personal interaction to cardiopulmonary reanimation, these tasks can be addressed by mannequin simulations in the educational context (Haerling, 2018). Through the use of this intervention, millennial students are expected to become better prepared for the emergence of stressful situations that can occur in the actual nursing practice.

Barriers to Implementation

Evidently, the implementation of new interventions can rarely avoid problematic developments caused by major objective and subjective barriers. Alhmidi et al. (2020) state that the use of simulation training in nursing has been gaining popularity in recent years. At the same time, this process has seen an impact on the trust-related barrier on behalf of the students. In other words, learners often struggle to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation when mannequins and other simulation tools are applied. As per their perception, the training does not pass the threshold of the actual situation, remaining merely a game and a training session. This way, they do not make meaningful attempts to adapt the newly acquired knowledge and skills to their practical toolbox. As a result, a lack of engagement and effort is observed.

The aforementioned barrier is related to the learner side of the process. However, there is another obstacle to the implementation of the discussed intervention, which stems from the opposite side of the interaction. More specifically, educators’ ability to present mannequin simulation training effectively – or lack thereof – can serve as a serious impediment. Edward and Chukwuka (2020) note that while mannequin simulations can be highly valuable for forming the key competencies of the students, they are demanding in terms of proper organization and presentation. Educators need to be creative and convincing enough to create scenarios in which learners will be prompted to take an active part and develop their skills. Unless this barrier is mitigated, the effectiveness of such training will leave much to be desired.

Actions against the Barriers

In order to address the barriers established above, a series of measures can be taken by the teaching staff of nursing higher education establishments. First of all, theoretical work with the students should include proper elaborations on the effectiveness of simulations. Prior to engaging in the training sessions, students are required to develop a full understanding of the subject matter with all its risks and intricacies. In other words, they should be informed of why precise actions in stressful environments are imperative, and what could consequences the lack of precision could entail (Edward & Chukwuka, 2020). This range is rather broad, from patient dissatisfaction to legal charges, and this information is to be delivered to the students to foster seriousness in their approach to simulation.

In addition, the institution of higher education can contribute to overcoming the barriers by providing fitting material bases for the training. This aspect includes, for example, higher-quality learning materials and modern mannequins that do not discourage students from working with them. Today’s technological progress is a major enabler of this element of success, as it provides institutions with state-of-the-art equipment that can be used for educational purposes with higher efficiency. If the actions described above are taken into account, the implementation of the proposed intervention will see a higher chance of being successful.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria for Evidence

Overall, the proposed intervention is promising and deserves additional exploration in the form of academic research. However, this research is to be evidence-based and informed by the contemporary body of knowledge. In this regard, a rigorous approach to the source selection process is required, relying on several inclusion and exclusion criteria. First of all, only the studies that directly address the research question of mannequin simulation training in nursing education should be included in the core of the evidence. Another inclusion component implies the selection of articles that reflect international knowledge by being written in the English language. Next, the exclusion of a source can be made as per its publication date. In order to rely solely on the contemporary body of evidence, sources that are over five years old will not be taken into consideration. Finally, another exclusion criterion is related to the absence of peer-review evidence, as such sources have questionable validity, thus limiting their contribution to the knowledge.

Key Databases

In order to retrieve a selection of data sources, the research implies the use of several prominent databases that provide accurate, up-to-date findings in the fields of nursing and healthcare. The preliminary list of such databases includes Proquest, SCOPUS, MEDLINE, PubMed Central, CINAHL, and PsychINFO, which are cited by Labrague et al. (2019) as reputable in their systematic review. The keywords to be used are “mannequin simulation,” “nursing simulation,” and “mannequin simulation practice intervention.” It is expected that these well-known databases contain appropriate sources of peer-reviewed knowledge that will inform the development of the present intervention research. Evidently, the subsequent study process can lead to the elimination of some of these databases, mainly on the basis of the redundancy of repetitiveness of their contents. However, this preliminary list is a major starting point for accumulating contemporary knowledge.


Overall, the formulated PICOT question addresses the effectiveness of mannequin simulation training for the formation of millennial nursing students’ competencies across an academic year. This avenue of education is highly promising, especially with the use of modern technology. The barriers associated with it may entail serious difficulties in terms of implementation, but the situation is likely to improve through the situational awareness and persuasiveness of educators. Further studies will explore the practical value of this approach on the basis of contemporary knowledge and inform the subsequent renditions of the described intervention.


Alhmidi, H., Li, D. F., Cadnum, J. L., Haq, M. F., Pinto-Herrera, N. C., Wilson, B. M., & Donskey, C. J. (2020). Use of simulations to evaluate the effectiveness of barrier precautions to prevent patient-to-patient transfer of healthcare-associated pathogens. Nursing Forum: An Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 42(4), 425–430. Web.

Edward, M. I., & Chukwuka, L. (2020). Simulation in nursing education: Implications for nurse educators and nursing practice. African Journal of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, 3(1), 13–23.

Haerling, K. A. (2018). Cost-utility analysis of virtual and mannequin-based simulation. Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 13(1), 33–40.

Labrague, L. J., McEnroe-Petitte, D. M., Bowling, A. M., Nwafor, C. E., & Tsaras, K. (2019). High-fidelity simulation and nursing students’ anxiety and self-confidence: A systematic review. Nursing Forum: An Independent Voice for Nursing, 54(3), 358–368. Web.

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"Promoting the Social Skills of Millennial Nursing Students." NursingBird, 4 Dec. 2022,


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NursingBird. 2022. "Promoting the Social Skills of Millennial Nursing Students." December 4, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "Promoting the Social Skills of Millennial Nursing Students." December 4, 2022.


NursingBird. "Promoting the Social Skills of Millennial Nursing Students." December 4, 2022.