The School of Nursing at West Virginia Wesleyan College houses a fully-functioning simulation-based education for students, thanks to a gift and challenge grant from The Naylor Family Fund in 2010 and 2012, respectively. As of 2013, the challenge grant was met, and the Howard D. and Audrey Holden Naylor Nursing Simulation Lab was expanded to include a multiple-room facility that helps nursing students gain real-world experience within the safety of the classroom.
Shannon R. Bosley, MSN, RN is the director of simulation in the School, and her primary responsibility is to create nursing care scenarios that mirror real-life situations as closely as possible. This simulation-based education helps students understand how actual scenarios in a real hospital would work and how to respond to them.
“Students are able to engage in and manage situations in a safe and controlled setting of the simulation labs,” commented Bosley. “These nursing care scenarios are too high risk for students to manage in the clinical setting. Students are then able to develop prioritization skills and apply interventions while building their confidence as a competent nurse.”
The Naylor Simulation Lab utilizes the CAE nursing simulator, which is a fully-wireless manikin with on-board fluid, pneumatic and electrical systems and is built tough to withstand a wide variety of real-life situations. The Lab is also equipped with a BabySim, an interactive mannequin for pediatric simulations, as well as Lucina, a labor and delivery simulation model with neonate. Lucina is fully capable of birthing a child and will provide student-nurses an opportunity to interact in a labor/delivery scenario first-hand. The School is also equipped with a skills lab where students learn the small pieces of the caregiving puzzle that, when combined, account for their real-life scenarios that are played out in the simulation rooms. Further, both laboratories also have fully functioning medical equipment, which includes medical headwalls with simulated oxygen, suction equipment, ophthalmoscopes, and otoscopic tools.
The Naylor Simulation Lab has proven a vital piece of the student recruitment puzzle, as well. The benefits of simulation include allowing the student to apply theories learned in the classroom and tasks learned and practiced in the skills lab.
“The Nursing Simulation Laboratory is an experiential learning space, designed to provide nursing students with real-world health care experiences in a safe and non-threatening environment,” stated Dr. Sue Leight, nursing professor and director of the School of Nursing and MSN Program. “Faculty incorporate the simulation laboratory in all clinical nursing courses as a mechanism for students to learn the psycho-motor skills, physical assessment techniques, and clinical reasoning necessary for skilled nursing practice. The state-of-the-art simulation laboratory is an integral part of the work we do in the School of Nursing, preparing nurse leaders for our community and beyond.”