SNU School of Nursing Simulation Lab Opens Doors to Increase Student-Learning

SNU Nursing simulator

The SNU School of Nursing's Simulation Lab opened their doors to increase student-learning experiences in Fall 2017. Although not new to nursing, simulation is becoming more widely used in nursing education. Simulation is defined as "an educational strategy in which a particular set of conditions are created or replicated to resemble authentic situations that are possible in real life" (INACSL Standards Committee, 2016). The simulation lab allows students to experience real-life situations and make clinical decisions in a safe environment. The Oklahoma Board of Nursing (OBN) recently passed that school of nursing may substitute up to 30% of clinical hours with simulation upon meeting certain criteria (Oklahoma Board of Nursing, 2016).

Through anonymous donations, SNU was able to renovate a classroom in Beaver Science Building to house three hospital rooms, one ICU/maternity suite, and two medical-surgical suites, with faculty observation rooms. The rooms have fully functional medical equipment and supplies, including oxygen and suctioning. The program currently has a high-fidelity pediatric manikin, an adult mid-fidelity manikin, and is in the process of purchasing an adult high-fidelity manikin through charitable donations. Increased fidelity adds realism to the patient scenarios that nursing students work through to connect concepts taught in theory (INACSL Standards Committee, 2016). The manikins emit sounds for vital signs, lung, heart, and bowels and perform functions such as blinking eyes, palpable pulses; they also provide realistic anatomy and responses to students' interventions. The students perform skills such as IV insertions, urinary catheters, medication administration and can practice therapeutic communication because the faculty can speak through the manikins. Audio-visual capabilities allow students to reflect on their practice through immediate playback during debriefing with faculty.

SNU Nursing simulator

The SNU School of Nursing faculty has committed to providing the students with at least one simulation experience per clinical course the first year of implementing the new simulation lab. Student feedback has been overall positive of the realism of the environment, and that simulation makes their learning time more productive. One senior student has said, "I felt like it was more realistic than previous sims. I would like more opportunities to do sims, even if it was an optional activity" (Fall, 2017). The faculty is currently working on meeting criteria for substitution of clinical hours to accommodate the rapid growth of the nursing student population at SNU. Future donations to the simulation lab will assist in buying equipment for the students, such as a crash cart, defibrillator, ventilator, IV infusion pumps, etc. If you are interested in donating to further developing the simulation experience for our future SNU graduates, please contact Dr. Mary Hibbert, Chair of the School of Nursing (

Southern Nazarene University’s mission: To make Christlike disciples through higher education in Christ-centered community.



INACSL Standards Committee. (2016). INACSL standards of best practice: Simulation glossary. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12, S39-S47.
Oklahoma Board of Nursing. (2016). Simulation patient care experience (SPCE) for registered and practical nursing programs guidelines. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Board of Nursing.