MSU Denver

Dear Roadrunners,  

It’s a relief to see small signs of spring returning to the Auraria Campus. At this point in the season, many of us are eager to be done with winter, but I encourage all Roadrunners to remember that we are still in the midst of cold, flu and Covid-19 season. 

It is important that faculty and staff members and students continue to: 

  • Stay home if you are feeling ill. This is as critical today as it was at the peak of Covid-19.  
  • Seek medical assessment of your symptoms and testing as applicable.  
  • If you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms and must come to campus, please wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others until your symptoms are resolved.  
  • Wash your hands often and keep hand sanitizer available, using it frequently.  
  • If you are diagnosed with Covid-19, follow your medical provider’s isolation recommendations.  

Health Institute Simulation Labs update 

The Health Institute Simulation Labs project is progressing on schedule!  

As MSU Denver prepares for construction and the project team works with departments on move planning and next steps, I want to share some background on the endeavor and the need to expand. 

The Health Institute Simulation & Skills program has called the Boulder Creek building home since the 1970s. As the Nursing program has flourished and the need for skilled nurses has grown, it became apparent that a new facility was needed. 

It’s also important to consider one thing required to become a nurse: clinical, hands-on experience. Nursing programs in Colorado can use a 1:2 ratio of simulation to clinical hours, meaning one hour of simulation equals two hours of clinical time per the State Board of Nursing. While in-person live clinical hours are still required, simulation hours provide a safe and productive learning environment that enables each student to become a skilled and confident nurse.     

There will be two distinct areas within the new space: the Simulation Lab and the Skills Lab.   

Skills Lab 

A student’s time in the Skills Lab is expertly designed to bring theory to practice. Here, students learn how to apply their classroom knowledge with theory to safely complete a skill. As students progress through the program, they return to the Skills Lab to learn more advanced skills and skills specific to special patient populations such as quadriplegics, maternal newborns, pediatrics and more. 

The Skills Lab provides the foundation for critical reasoning, knowledge synthesis and course-content analysis as it applies to a defined skill. To provide safe patient care, students must learn to perform skills correctly. The Nursing Skills Lab aims to provide an environment where students become competent in their nursing skills, growing into safe nurses who strive for professional excellence.  

Simulation Lab 

Once students have proven skill competency, they can participate in simulations, applying their knowledge, skills and abilities in crafted scenarios to enhance understanding, clinical competence and leadership skills. The Simulation Lab is a supervised, safe, risk-free learning environment where expert feedback is provided. Simulation is designed to bridge the gaps between the Skills Lab, theory, coursework and clinical rotations. 

What’s next  

  • Roadrunners can join the next Design Advisory Committee meeting March 21 from 1-2 p.m. to learn more. 
  • All architectural drawings will be complete in April. 
  • The Guaranteed Maximum Price has been finalized. 
  • Construction is set to begin as early as May.  

See the project’s SharePoint site for the latest project information or submit questions or feedback to Martha Nelson, senior project manager for the MSU Denver Facilities Planning, Design and Construction team. 

Phase II network modernization 

This month, MSU Denver and the Auraria Higher Education Center will begin replacing end-of-life and near-end-of-life network equipment in the PE/Events Center building, improving the overall wireless environment. As you can see from the before-and-after scans of the Central Building, which was upgraded in Phase I, the faculty, staff and student experiences will be greatly enhanced with more reliable and faster Wi-Fi.  

  • Outage window: March 20. Employees who work in the PE Building should work either remotely or from another building on campus during this time frame as the wired and wireless internet and phone connections will be unavailable.  
  • Testing window: March 21-22. We anticipate that all floors will have network access; however, we will have technicians in the building testing, tweaking and correcting any lingering issues related to our upgrades.   
  • Key-card access will not be impacted.     


Thank you again for staying up to date on all the exciting things happening at MSU Denver.   


Larry Sampler, chief operating officer, vice president for Administration