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Washington State University

Clinical Performance
& Simulation

The Program of Excellence in Clinical Performance & Simulation (PECPS) is a national leader in using simulation as a learning pedagogy. With 9,000 student visits per semester to our state-of-the-art Clinical Performance and Simulation Labs, the College has integrated simulation into the undergraduate and graduate programs across all campuses.

Students, guided by simulation faculty and staff, gain valuable experience using high- and low-fidelity mannequins and standardized patients in patient care scenarios. Simulation scenarios are chosen based on high-risk, low-volume conditions or patients, and can involve interprofessional teams of students from different programs. Scenarios teach students clinical skills, as well as critical thinking and clinical judgement in addition to crisis management, teamwork and communication, patient safety, social justice, and leadership. Such hands-on learning in a realistic environment boosts students’ ability to apply critical thinking and clinical judgement skills to actual patient care in real world scenarios.

“What students experience in the sim lab is very real, yet it allows them to practice complex cases in a safe environment, ensuring patient safety and with instructors and peers providing feedback along the way.”  – Kevin Stevens, Retired Director, Program of Excellence in Clinical Performance & Simulation

Some examples of simulation scenarios students might encounter at the WSU College of Nursing include: Interprofessional active-shooter simulations; interprofessional cardiac simulations; GI bleeding; postpartum hemorrhage; pediatric asthma; a well-child clinic with immunizations; and a mental health scenario with a patient who is in a crisis.

Simulation is embedded in the WSU College of Nursing culture and students often apply to our program because of the amount of simulation training they’ll receive.

Said one student in an end-of-semester evaluation, “Simulation has made a tremendous impact on my critical thinking… my communication, delegation, reflection and so much more. The things we do in simulation truly transfer into the real world.”

When sim becomes real life:

  • Recent BSN grad Jamison Edwards heard another nurse’s call for help, and knew what to do.
  • Ashley Ormsby was surprised at her ability to remain level-headed during a crisis, which she credits to her extensive sim training.