Implementation of Mental Health Simulations: Challenges and Lessons Learned

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Boise State University School of Nursing faculty faced several challenges and learned important lessons in attempting to implement mental health simulations with standardized patients when clinical practicums with actual patients were no longer an option. Challenges faced included (a) establishing strategies to recruit a large pool of authentic standardized patients, (b) determining the optimal level of complexity for each simulation, and (c) providing useful feedback to students about noted deficiencies while at the same time making the reflections a positive experience. Important lessons are shared that may help other faculty avoid similar challenges.