Gamification in nursing education: An integrative literature review

Angela Malicki, Franz Henryk Vergara, Barbara Van de Castle, Paola Goyeneche, Stefanie Mann, Margo Preston Scott, Julie Seiler, Marjone Zapanta Meneses, Madeleine Whalen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this literature review and evaluation project was to determine what evidence exists on the use of interactive digital learning and gamification for adult learners in nursing, for the purpose of guiding a redesign of our organization’s online clinical education courses. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses was used in the literature search, with the critical analysis and leveling of evidence. After determining the search terms, four electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC, and Cochrane) were searched with the guidance of a medical librarian. Eight reviewers participated, and an evidence-based practice specialist served as auditor. Twenty-three articles were included in the review, which revealed overall support for the gamification process with specific findings about optimizing the process. The review further suggested that interactive digital learning in the form of games, gamification, or scenario-based learning has a positive effect on learner engagement and satisfaction; however, none of the studies were able to quantify objective data about knowledge retention. Further research is needed to test different modalities that improve both learner engagement and knowledge retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of continuing education in nursing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education
  • Review and Exam Preparation


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