Currently, much of nursing education occurs in a passive environment of a traditional college classroom. Yet the practice of complex clinical skills and the critical thinking necessary to carry out care in a timely manner do not occur until the student is in a clinical setting with a live patient, much stress, and inconsistent supervision and debriefing. Research supports the need for an interactive environment where students can use the knowledge they gain in the classroom by actually practicing and observing clinical skills prior to working with a live patient. That's why the Robin Kanarek '96 Learning Resource Center is so vital: this state-of-the-art teaching environment enables students to apply skills and solve clinical problems effectively before working in a live setting.
Through the Resource Center, the traditional, didactic approach to teaching is supplemented with a simulation-based teaching that allows for the practice and observation of clinical skills, team work, communication, and critical thinking. Although many community colleges have taken the lead on the use of Laerdal Sim-Man®, Fairfield University School of Nursing envisions a much broader perspective of a simulation-based curriculum. Our aim is to provide a model for the incorporation of simulation-based pedagogy throughout the entire nursing curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and thus be a model for schools of nursing similar in size.