middle eastern, refugees, cultural competency, simulation


Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing


Susan Strouse, PhD RN


A simulation was constructed with the aim of improving nursing students’ understanding of the needs of Middle Eastern refugees.

The research questions were: what are student nurses’ perceptions on the unique culture of the Middle Eastern refugee population after participating in a simulation of this populations’ experiences, and how will these influence the students’ interactions with this population in their nursing career?

Approval was granted from the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Internal Review Board (IRB) to conduct the research. Student nurses were recruited through GVSU Kirkhoff College of Nursing (KCON) Student Nursing Association (SNA); the event was one of many optional events which GVSU KCON nursing students could choose from to receive Leadership Initiative Credit (LIC) points. Next a simulation was held on October 22nd where eight students spent 25 minutes experiencing the day in the life of a refugee. The simulation also included a debrief at the end, and the option to participate in a short survey concerning their experience. Answers to the anonymous survey questions were collected, and data was compiled from the open ended questions and likert questions found on the survey.

Overall, the student nurses had a greater understanding of the refugee experience, the difficult choices and lack of control of refugees face. Additionally, overall, students reported a greater awareness of the need to implement culturally competent care, a change in their perspective and increased awareness of the refugee situation.