Abstract Aim This paper aims to explore the development and evaluation results of a simulated skills package designed using a problem based learning approach with general nursing students. Background Internationally, the use of high fidelity simulated learning environments has escalated. This has occurred as a result of growing concerns relating to patient safety, patient litigation, lack of clinical opportunities for student nurses to gain experience and integration of new teaching methods into nursing curricula. There are however both proponents and opponents to the value of simulation and high fidelity simulation within nursing education. Methods This study was conducted in an Irish school of nursing. A simulated learning support package was developed by nurse educators and piloted with 134 third year nursing students. This was evaluated using a questionnaire in which 87 students responded. Findings Students generally found the simulation sessions realistic and useful in developing clinical skills, knowledge and confidence for clinical practice. However student issues regarding support with preparation for the session were highlighted. Also, the need for a more formalised structure for debriefing following the simulation sessions were identified. Conclusion It is hoped that this paper will provide nurse educators with some guidance to aid future development of innovative and interactive teaching and learning strategies.