The application of learning theory to situated simulation teaching is an innovative and essential teaching strategy in nursing education. Whether in formal nursing education or in continuing nursing education, simulation teaching has become a key teaching and evaluation strategy for developing medical professionals who possess practical clinical competency in clinical settings. However, the preparation of simulation teaching sessions, especially those that involve high-fidelity simulations, is time-consuming. Thus, designing a course curriculum and applying appropriate teaching strategies to achieve the desired learning outcomes is a substantial challenge for nurse educators. Empirical evidence from current studies on the application of simulation teaching for enhancing students' abilities for clinical practice remains inconsistent. Applying an appropriate learning theory as a framework, and exploring the impact of teaching and learning processes on student learning outcomes can facilitate the identification of the use of theoretical frameworks and the design of a suitable teaching model for yielding desirable outcomes. The purpose of this study was to review the learning theories most commonly used in simulation studies. The applications of such theories in simulation teaching are also discussed; therefore, the study results can serve as a reference for planning appropriate teaching activities.