Simulation Center: History

History of North Texas Regional Simulation Center

     The North Texas Regional Simulation Center was developed in response to both the rising nursing and nursing faculty shortage through the use of a Nursing Innovation Grant. Initial funding was provided by a NIGP-D grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The goals of the project were to increase the number of students admitted to clinical courses at Midwestern State University and Vernon College, pilot the implementation of a collaborative regional simulation center, evaluate the effectiveness of a simulation center on graduates’ perceived clinical competence, and determine the cost-effectiveness of a center.

     To meet those goals the North Central Texas Health Care (NCTHC) Consortium was created. The consortium was a collaborative effort between United Regional Health Care System, Midwestern State University and Vernon College. Membership of the consortium included representatives from each entity. The board develops policies and provides for the administrative supervision of the North Texas Regional Simulation Center. The Regional Simulation Center was staffed by a MSN director, four BSN educators, a computer technician and an administrative assistant. The center was located in a 3,410 square foot renovated nursing unit at the partnering hospital. Scenarios would be developed to use with hi-fidelity manikins for the teaching and assessment of competencies of the students and staff. Initially four hi-fidelity adult manikins, two hi-fidelity infant manikins and two low-fidelity manikins were purchased along with the virtual intravenous system from Laerdal Corporation.       The Regional Simulation Center was operational in January 2005. After the grant expired the NCTHC consortium continued to fund the Regional Simulation Center. Many benefits from the utilization of the Regional Simulation Center were realized. Some of these benefits include:

  • The collaboration among the local hospital and schools of nursing provides an opportunity to clarify expectations of competency of new graduates
  • Provides the learner with the opportunity to work with high risk patient situations in a safe environment
  • The use of BSN educators in the Regional Simulation Center supported the increase in admissions to the nursing programs
  • Simulation effectively increases students’ sense of competence
  • Cost-effectiveness of the Regional Simulation Center was demonstrated, excluding the cost of the equipment

After the grant expired the NCTHC consortium continued to fund the Regional Simulation Center. The center continues to be an environment that promotes learning, competence, and research opportunities.