The RU Regional Clinical Simulation Centers will provide the following solutions to address the nursing shortage:
- Solutions for Colleges/Universities: Increased capacity of nursing schools to enroll students, retain faculty, and decrease competition for scarce clinical sites.
- Solutions for Students: Higher percentage of qualified nursing program applicants will be able to enter into nursing programs on their time-schedule. Students learning in simulation environment will see the results of their decisions and actions, and errors can occur without harming a patient. Active learning experiences promote rational thought/critical thinking skills.
- Solutions for the Community: Enhanced patient safety. Increase in the number of nurses trained each year to combat the projected nursing shortage.
The Clinical Simulation Centers will provide a hands-on learning experience in an environment that is safe and realistic, producing quality nurses with enhanced critical thinking abilities, communication skills and collaboration experience.
The goals of the Clinical Simulation Centers are to:
- Create active, engaging learning environment with the faculty serving as guides and facilitators of student learning.
- Intelligently incorporate the use of technology into nursing instruction.
- Engage the community, region, state and nation through service and relationships with education institutions.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) representatives met with representatives from regional nursing programs and the Executive Director of the Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC) on June 8, 2005 to explore ways of partnering with public and private entities to maximize the use of scarce resources, address the shortage of nursing faculty, and explore alternatives for clinical education of nursing students.
Since then, Radford University, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Wytheville Community College, New River Community College, Virginia Western Community College, and Patrick Henry Community College have unanimously endorsed a collaborative effort of nursing educators to develop strategies to address the nursing shortage.
RU School of Nursing assumed leadership in developing the concept and submitting a proposal to the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) for creating, maintaining and sustaining two Nursing Clinical Simulation Centers (CSC)—one at the Roanoke Higher Education Center and one at the Radford University Corporate Park—as collaborative ventures between nursing education programs and public/private healthcare facilities in this region. With the support of SCHEV, the proposal was included in the Governor’s Budget for the next biennium.
Funding for the project was allocated to Radford University in July 2006.