College of Nursing Simulation Center receives national accreditation

Posted: March 3, 2020

(Pictured from left to right are Stephanie Kehler, Malik UnderwoodJennifer Dent and Paula Kral.)

The University of Kentucky College of Nursing Clinical Simulation and Learning Center (CSLC) has been awarded official provisional accreditation through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH). UK’s CON Simulation Center was the first location in the state of Kentucky to receive accreditation.

UK’s CSLC is also managed by three faculty members who are each SSIH certified simulation healthcare educators—a distinguished level of achievement for a simulation instructor.  

These SSIH recognitions make evident the College of Nursing’s commitment to providing students with the best training and education possible. 

Undergraduate nursing students utilize the simulation center anywhere from 3-5 times a semester for each semester during their time at the college. Students are able to experience a range of patient simulations such as opioid withdraw, complications during child labor and delivery, practice interviewing skills and even ethics training with patients and families.

Graduate students also utilize the simulation center for increased task training such as central line insertions, suturing and punch biopsies.

“Simulation training is highly beneficial to our students because it is the only time during school when they will function in the role of the nurse,” said Dr. Jennifer Dent, director of the CSLC.  “They have the opportunity to make decisions without interruption and experience the outcome of their decisions. Because there is no risk to an actual patient, students have the freedom to make their own choices in real-life scenarios, which is an invaluable learning tool.”

Every simulation or task training for students in the CSLC is driven by course-outlined objectives and is based on needs-assessments and evidence-based practices.

“Another integral part to the simulation learning experience is utilizing evidence-based debriefing techniques with the students,” said Dent.  “After a simulation, we’re able to sit down with the students and discuss their feeling about the experience.  We talk about their thought processes when they execute actions both correctly and incorrectly, and how to incorporate what they learned into future patient care experiences.”

The College of Nursing has been providing opportunities for students to practice skills since the early 1960's.  Establishing the CSLC in 2015 was a huge step forward in advancing the opportunities for students to practice, and the college is committed to continuing to provide the best simulation-based training in the years to come.

For more information, visit the Clinical Simulation and Learning Center webpage.