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New Online Healthcare Simulation Certificate Offered

Nursing student practicing on baby high fidelity manikin

Boise State University’s College of Health Sciences has begun accepting applications for a new online Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Simulation. The program received Idaho State Board of Education approval and will begin in fall 2015.

This program is designed for health care educators working full-time and looking for educational opportunities in simulation teaching that fit into their busy life. The program will provide formal preparation for healthcare educators and operators using or desiring to use simulation pedagogy to teach learners in health professions programs and practice settings.

“The use of simulation has caught on quickly in health care but there is a lack of formal training and education about its best use with learners. Our program will offer an opportunity to learn the best practices and evidence-based methods in an interprofessional course environment,” said Janet Willhaus, simulation certificate program facilitator.

Students will complete the certificate in 12 months with one class offered each semester. The summer course has some content delivered online along with a three-day on-campus experience where students apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills within Boise State’s simulation center.

The Boise State University College of Health Sciences Simulation Center is one of only two accredited simulation centers in the Pacific Northwest. The center’s current faculty members have more than 90 combined years of teaching experience using simulation and many are certified simulation educators by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

A health care simulation lab is a physical location that replicates the settings where health care may be provided, such as a hospital, provider’s office or home. The lab is designed with features to mimic real health care settings, and includes functioning equipment and furniture. Both standardized patients and computerized mannequins offer opportunities for learners to provide patient care experiences without fear of harm to real patients.

Hospitals and academic health programs are increasingly using simulation pedagogy based on recommendations from national health, safety and educational organizations. Research is also emerging that shows that those trained using simulation contribute to better patient outcomes and reduced mortality. A 2014 study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing indicates that students educated using differing doses of simulation performed as well both in school and when entering the workforce as those trained using traditional clinical methods. The advantage simulation offers is that the student experience can be better directed, poses less risk to live patients and includes a broader array of health care situations.

Faculty and staff involved with the program include:

  • Janet Willhaus, simulation certificate program facilitator/instructor, School of Nursing
  • Becky Bunderson, director, College of Health Sciences Simulation Center
  • Rosemary Macy, associate professor, School of Nursing
  • Kelley Connor, assistant professor, School of Nursing

Potential students can review the Admission Process webpage to learn how to apply for the program.

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With this program, Boise State will offer 21 online degrees or certificate programs at the graduate level starting fall 2015. The university’s online programs recently received national attention. The 2015 U.S. News Best Online Programs ranked Boise State University’s online graduate education programs at 47 out of 181 institutions that received a ranking placement. The online graduate nursing programs ranked 48 out of 97 institutions that received a ranking placement, and the online MBA program ranked 97 out of 147 institutions that received a ranking placement.

Students’ interest in Boise State’s programs also is noteworthy. The number of student enrollments in graduate-level online programs has grown 62 percent in the past five years. Enrollments in all online graduate courses has grown 61 percent during the same time frame.

Visit the eCampus website for more information about Boise State online programs.