How many hours of traditional clinical time can be replaced by use of patient simulation? The first step in answering this question is to determine how similar or different the learning experiences are to begin with. The Clinical Learning Environment Comparison Survey was developed to further evaluate this question in undergraduate nursing education. The tool is reliable and valid with usefulness in evaluation of how well educators meet their students' needs in both traditional and clinical environments, evaluation of simulation lab personnel, and evaluation of facilitators. The tool is currently being used in a landmark multi-site, longitudinal study being conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in the United States.