Dedicated Simulation Education Specialists

Penn Nursing dedicates multiple full-time faculty to simulated learning.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s commitment to simulation education stands out among other schools of nursing across the country. An important feature is the use of dedicated Simulation Education Specialists (SES) who creates experiential learning environment that links the classroom to clinical practice. These full-time faculty thoughtfully integrate and reinforce content through pre-simulation assignments, scenarios, and debriefing sessions all tailored to Penn’s nursing curriculum and according the Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice (INACLS, 2021).

Clinical Simulation Instructors (CSIs) support the SES in guiding student learning in an active and engaging learning environment. They facilitate the students’ skill of continual self-reflection of own’s performance, a lifelong skill. All dedicated faculty attend the Penn, CHOP, and Jefferson 3-day Interdisciplinary Simulation Facilitator’s Course where they are trained on scenario development, pre-briefing, debriefing, assessments, and facilitating difficult conversations.

Epic Integrated Simulation Scenarios

The first school to fully integrate Epic into their simulation center, the electronic health record (EHR) that continues to be the leader in the EHR market share.

In 2018, Penn Nursing, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), created the first Epic training environment for undergraduate nursing education. Our students start charting in Epic, the leader in the EHR market, during the spring semester of their freshmen year. Each semester their exposure to the EHR is layered in it’s complexity and situated in the context of the population and setting currently being studied. In the simulation center, the students can practice medication administration while adhering to the most up-to-date practice guidelines, scanning the patient’s ID band and medication labels to ensure patient safety.

In addition to the latter, Penn Nursing was the first to have their own Epic certified faculty member that was trained to edit and create charts in the Epic environment. The implementation of this role allowed for all scenarios to be tailored to the curriculum, edited quarterly to reflect current practice guidelines, and managed internally. The integration of Epic has decreased the student’s onboarding time when charting during their off-campus clinical experiences and allows more time for students to engage with their patients at the bedside, providing quality patient care. Additionally, exposing nursing students to the EHR will increase patient safety, offer opportunities for data analysis, and enhance collaboration among healthcare partners to improve patient care.

Ensuring Competency

The only nursing school that conducts competency based summative assessments at four points in their curriculum with a 1:2 faculty student ratio.

Penn Nursing is the only nursing school that offers objective, summative, layered, simulation assessments at four points in their undergraduate education, across various population settings. The scenarios, faculty guides, and assessment tools are developed by the SES, who ensures validity and reliability, and situates the scenario reflective of their current course setting. As a result of this experience, the students are able to reflect on their strengths and areas needed for improvement. The results of the assessment provide the necessary information to ensure each student has a tailored plan, specific to their learning needs. This plan can range from a focus on health assessment, clinical judgment, patient safety, prioritization, and/or time management.

Mimicking Real-Life Practice

A robust operations staff dedicated to ensure realism that results in enhanced student engagement.


The Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation is supported by a robust operations staff that consists of four full-time Simulation Operations Specialists, Operations Manager, and Program Coordinator. The staff assists in simulating fidelity (realism) for each simulation scenario by moulaging high-fidelity simulators, equipment, and the setting to mimic real life practice. Their attention to detail aides in learner engagement, further enhancing the student’s learning experience in a simulated setting.

The operations team is also responsible for managing and running the 20+ high fidelity simulators that range from SimPremie to SimMan 3G PLUS. This wide range of simulators enhances realism when facilitating scenarios across patient populations. Additionally, our partnership with UPHS allows our students to practice with the most up-to-date equipment and disposables.


Lab Hours
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

Request information or schedule a tour or continuing education simulation experience:
Phone: 215-898-9242

Our location
418 Curie Blvd
Room 102A-B
Philadelphia, PA 19104