Simulation is a critical component of nursing education. It provides a safe environment to practice and evaluate skills, supplements clinical hours, and removes barriers to a well-rounded education. Nurses are expected to be educators as part of our scope of practice, and simulation can facilitate this. One topic of nursing importance is lactation education, as breastfeeding has been shown to have multiple benefits for both mother and baby. National rates of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months do not currently meet CDC recommendations. The pedagogy known as the Protégé Effect suggests that learning can be improved through teaching. Breastfeeding is a topic that inherently involves patient education but is currently given minimal attention in most nursing curricula. The purpose of this thesis is primarily to determine whether breastfeeding education within simulation improves student self-efficacy and secondarily, to explore the ramifications on clinical performance. A literature review was conducted across CINAHL, MEDLINE, Applied Science & Technology Source, ERIC, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar to find studies comparing breastfeeding education to student self-efficacy within a simulated environment. Inclusion criteria included medical and nursing students at undergraduate- and graduate-level education, full text, written in English, and any student-led teaching opportunities about lactation and breastfeeding. After critical appraisal, 8 qualitative and quantitative articles were included in the study. Current literature strongly suggests breastfeeding simulations improve self-efficacy, but the findings are preliminary in nature. More research is needed. Including breastfeeding education in simulation can better prepare nursing students to assume their role as educators.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Peralta, Heather


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing

Degree Program




Access Status

Open Access

Release Date