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.
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.
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.