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Nursing is a practice profession that requires a transfer of learning to clinical practice (Billings, 2000). Clinical practice settings for nursing education have changed drastically from directly supervised, inpatient care settings to indirectly supervised, community based settings. Indeed, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing ( 1993) specifically emphasizes the need for master's programs to incorporate more educational opportunities for health promotion interventions to families and aggregates within community based settings. Furthermore, there is increasing demand for practitioners to assess and care for rural patients using technologic mediums like telehealth, telemedicine, telehome, teleradiology, telepsychiatry and virtual medical centers (Bachman & Panzarine, 1998; Billings, 2000). Changing practice settings and technologic advancements create special problems for nursing education. Nursing educators are challenged to identify cost-effective, standardized experiences that validate student progression from supervised to unsupervised, community experiences. Of particular note, the College of Nursing recently opened an "all Internet" option for distance students to obtain their master's degree. We were faced with the challenges of providing clinical experiences to students faculty have never met. Clinical simulations provide a growing avenue to prepare students for the realities of independent practice (Billings, 2000). The purpose of this project was to introduce reality-based assessment and testing methods that validate students' clinical competence, using video vignettes to simulate family dynamics and health promotion needs in community settings. A secondary purpose was to provide students with an introductory technologic interface for family and health promotion assessments. These primary and secondary purposes are congruent with South Dakota State University's Lead Forward Objectives by addressing technologic skill proficiency, communication ability (counseling skills are the focus), clinical skill development and critical thinking. Project achievement directly enhances students' international competitiveness, and clinically reflects social awareness and adaptability to change.






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