University of Rochester holds first nursing simulation summit

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s an experience of a lifetime for many grad and first-year students at the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

The first nursing simulation summit gave students and educations a look at both the future of nursing and healthcare education.
The school’s assistant director of simulation said years ago when she went through the program, they started with just one mannequin and one simulation. Now it’s grown to 43 simulations, which she said is really beneficial to students’ growth.

“The difference for the students has been immense,” said Kimberly Buholtz. “We have had students consistently say to us that having an opportunity to practice the skills that they are learning about in lecture and having that chance to work with a manikin, work with a standardized patient, which is a patient actor, really helps them feel more comfortable, safe and prepared to go in to take care of an actual patient.”

She said schools from across New York state, mainly within Western New York, offer professional development on best practices.

One student who graduates in December said when she first started the program it was difficult and intimidating, but now she feels much more prepared for real-life situations.

“I think it’s very, very, very helpful honestly,” said Meghan Lee. “We do the situations just like it would be in the real world, and we get report when we go up to the simulation unit,” she said. “We go into the patients’ rooms, we’re able to call a provider, we’re able to call the unit secretary, a charge nurse, a pharmacy. Anything we need, we have all the equipment we need to do what we need to do.”

The summit was hosted by innovation educators of Western New York and the University of Rochester School of Nursing. The university recently expanded its simulation program.