Role play simulation in nurse education: applying the ‘I AM A STAR’ mnemonic
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Role play simulation in nurse education: applying the ‘I AM A STAR’ mnemonic

Rachel Huggins Student, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales
Beryl Mansel Senior lecturer, College of Human and Health Science, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales
Sarah Tait Lecturer, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales
Keith Bradley-Adams Senior lecturer, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales

Background The mental state examination (MSE) is a collection of observations made during an initial nursing interview. A mnemonic, I AM A STAR, was developed as an aide-memoire for nursing students to recall the components of the MSE.

Aim To evaluate the use of role play simulation to teach mental health nursing students the components of the MSE.

Method Role play simulation was carried out by groups of students who enacted a patient’s signs and symptoms of psychosis, bipolar affective disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. The remaining students conducted a nursing assessment. The students who were observing considered the components of the I AM A STAR framework.

Findings There was some resistance initially from the students in engaging in role play, but the evaluation suggests most students enjoyed the session and found that role play benefited their learning and confidence in applying the MSE in practice.

Conclusion Role play simulation can improve the confidence of nursing students and help to enhance their knowledge and skills by applying theory to practice.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1343

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Huggins R, Mansel B, Tait S et al (2019) Role play simulation in nurse education: applying the ‘I AM A STAR’ mnemonic. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1343

Published online: 28 May 2019

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