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College of Nursing

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Inaugural Healthcare Simulation Week

Sept 13, 2017


The ECU College of Nursing celebrated the inaugural Healthcare Simulation Week Sept. 11 through Sept. 15, hosting faculty and staff appreciation events to celebrate the college’s achievements in healthcare simulation.

Simulation labs at the college are a key part of both undergraduate- and graduate-level education. The College of Nursing features more than 7,000 square feet of space dedicated to simulation technology, with more than 45 faculty members participating in simulation training with students regularly.

The college’s simulation center is also a repeat Nursing Center of Excellence winner for Learning Spaces. The center fosters outreach by hosting tours, open houses, demonstrations, camps, disaster preparedness drills and alumni functions.

“The simulation center we have in ECU’s College of Nursing is one of the nicest and most state-of-the-art facilities in the field,” said Dr. Laura Gantt, professor and associate dean for Nursing Support Services.


Melinda Walker, a certified healthcare simulation educator for the
ECU College of Nursing, orients new nursing students to a patient
simulator before a learning exercise in one of the college’s simulation labs.

The concept for simulation week was created by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) to celebrate the professionals who improve the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare services by advocating for education, practice, and research in simulation. SSH’s goal is to raise community awareness about healthcare simulation and how it is enhancing the quality of patient care.

Undergraduate courses featuring simulation include Foundations 1 and 2, Health Assessment, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Medical-Surgical Nursing and Skills Blitz for Capstone. Graduate-level instruction that uses simulation includes courses for students in the neonatal nurse practitioner program, the doctor of nursing practice program, and the midwifery program. Gantt also teaches a graduate-level simulation elective.

Interprofessional education classes in conjunction with ECU’s Brody School of Medicine are also a benefit to nursing students, teaching them collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

The week’s events at ECU also included tours of the new Healthcare Simulation Unit, a mobile extension of the Brody School of Medicine Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Center.


Walker monitors students and operates the computer-driven simulation and
patient simulator from a hidden observation room.