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Columbia University conference highlights simulation for critical situations

On April 27, the 49th annual Isabel Maitland Stewart Conference on Research in Nursing took place at Teachers College, Columbia University in Manhattan, N.Y. This year’s program “From Mrs. Chase to Meet the Sims: Simulation in Education, Research and Practice,” discussed national simulation learning initiatives and training-the-trainer techniques for nursing faculty.

Keynote speaker Mary Ann Rizzollo, RN, EdD, ANEF, FAAN, professional development consultant for the National League of Nursing, talked about national healthcare simulation initiatives. Other conference speakers included Jennifer Hayden, RN, MSN, research associate for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Chicago; Robert Kerner Jr., RN, JD, EdD(c), clinical education specialist, Patient Safety Institute, Lake Success, N.Y.; Lygia Lee Arcaro, RN, PhD, BC, SimLEARN national director of nursing programs, Department of Veterans Affairs; and Kellie D. Bryant, RN, DNP, WHNP-BC, director of simulation learning, clinical assistant professor, New York University College of Nursing, New York City.

Arcaro works with a multidisciplinary group of educators and clinicians to develop learning opportunities for staff using state-of-the-art simulation learning technology. Like all of the VA’s simulation programs, SimLEARN (Simulation Learning Education and Research Network) was created in 2009 to improve the healthcare quality of more than 8 million veterans across the nation cared for by the VA system. Training programs include women’s healthcare in the ED, ensuring correct surgery and invasive procedures, and out of OR airway management, among others. Most programs are train-the-trainer format.

Arcaro talked about the SimLEARN National Center in Orlando, Fla., which will be the hub of simulation programs for VA facilities when finished. According to Arcaro, the center will provide policy development and research strategies, determine lab sizes and personnel, and secure simlab vendors. “Orlando was chosen for the site because there are about 150 companies there that are dedicated to simulation technology,” she said.

Each year, the Nursing Education Alumni Association of Teachers College, Columbia University, chooses five outstanding nurses to recognize for their contributions in Nursing Scholarship and Research, Nursing Education, Nursing Practice, Nursing Service and Leadership in Professional and Allied Organization, along with one nurse to receive the R. Louis McManus Medal, This year’s winners are Amparo Kurtz, RN-BC, EdD, Nursing Practice Award; Marianne Jeffreys, RN, EdD, R. Louis McManus Medal; Elaine Smith, RN, EdD, Nursing Service Award; Judith Hupcey, RN, EdD, Nursing Scholarships and Research Award; and Maureen Creegan, RN, EdD, Nursing Education Award. The Leadership in Professional and Allied Organization award was not presented this year. Winners were recognized at the NEAA Awards Luncheon April 27 at the Isabel Maitland Stewart Conference.

Bryant was challenged with creating simulation programs for midwifery, pediatrics, adult health and women’s health. Previously, Bryant created and scheduled three simulation sessions a week. Her new position required 75 sessions a week.

“To prepare myself, I visited other simulation centers, attended conferences and joined simulation organizations,” she said. Bryant also enrolled in a training program at Drexel University and was part of the first class to receive certification in simulation.

In the presentation, “Developing a Simulation Training Program for Faculty,” Bryant discussed the challenges of setting up a program and offered tips to overcome them. Staff buy-in and administrative support are key, she said.

Mannequins can range in cost from $20,000 to $70,000 so facilities may need to seek donors. Another tip is to create a simulation committee and use personnel who are cost-effective and available. “I use work-study students to set up the rooms,” she said. “They’re not in medicine so there’s no conflict of interest.”

Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions dean and professor Gloria Donnelly, RN, PhD, FAAN, closed the conference with the future of simulation and how it can enhance nursing education.

“Simulation can be used in some very creative ways,” she said. “Using simulation and movement science, for example, we can see what’s going on in a student’s head when learning certain skills. We can use simulation to embrace fallability and mine nursing ignorance, then use it to our advantage in education,” she said.

For information on Drexel’s certificate in simulation, visit and search for “simulation.”

By | 2020-04-15T09:29:00-04:00 May 21st, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

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