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Nursing Simulation Learning Center

Clinical Simulation is a practical and necessary method of teaching/learning and evaluating competence. Simulation allows the adult learner to be self-paced, receive immediate feedback and develop critical thinking skills, and provides for knowledge reinforcement. Simulation facilitates learning through enactment and imitation of a condition or situation using computer driven manikins that mimic human symptoms and provides responses to caregiver actions.

Children’s National Simulation Learning Center opened May 7, 2008. The Learning Center is equipped with high-fidelity computerized human simulators and a simulated clinical environment that promotes learning, and practice of complex patient care management procedures.  Use of the simulation center is an integral component of nursing education programs offered to Children’s National registered nurses.  Additionally, other disciplines use the simulation center to promote effective interdisciplinary clinical functioning.

Additional enhancements underway include videotaping for critique following scenarios, and programmable stethoscopes, and CDs for breath and heart sounds.

Simulation Technology Instructor Development

The Board of Visitors (BOV) has provided a generous grant to support the BOV Simulation Program at Children's National. Simulation is an educational methodology that allows clinicians to learn, practice, and repeat procedures or situations to enhance individual and team performance. Hands-on simulation helps teams and individuals develop preparedness and insight that is best learned and practiced in realistic conditions.

Our simulation team is available for consultation to create an individualized education plan using simulation to meet your identified needs, from performing pediatric skills to improving inter-professional teamwork and communication.  We can also design a facilitator workshop for clinician leaders and educators to facilitate simulation scenarios within their agency or private practice. Full time technical support is available to ensure that every clinical simulation experience is of the highest quality and achieves all desired academic and clinical goals.

The intent of BOV Simulation Outreach is to improve collaboration between clinicians at Children’s National and referring providers, EMS personnel, community hospitals, and pediatricians in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Through simulation outreach, Children’s National aims to improve health care and health outcomes of children by ensuring providers are appropriately trained to respond to their unique health needs. 

Pathways to Nursing Care Excellence

Using the Pathways to Nursing Care Excellence, members of the Nursing Research and Quality Outcomes consult with nurses to identify which process - research, evidence-based practice or quality improvement - is most suited to solving their nursing care questions. All three pathways follow classic evidence based practice methods to incorporate the most up to date scientific evidence into all aspects of nursing care initiatives at Children’s National.

BearEvidence classes

Members of the Department of Nursing Research and Quality Outcomes provide ongoing training in Evidence-based practice.  BearEvidence classes incorporate comprehensive interactive training in the 5 A’s of evidence-based practice - Ask, Acquire, Appraise, Apply & Assess. Classes are scheduled as requested by nursing staff. All members of the Nurse Practice Council complete BearEvidence upon appointment to the council.

What Works Better

Simulation is used at Children’s National in a variety of settings and with various learning objectives. Session evaluations document measurable outcomes. Examples of how teams use simulation training at Children’s National include:

  • Initial skills training and/or competency development (Acute Care/Critical Care Nursing, Physician Residency program, Pediatric Trauma Care )
  • Family-centered rounds
  • Emergency Department resuscitation training
  • Inter-professional simulations
  • Trauma team training
  • Pediatric inpatient decompensating patient scenarios
  • Patient/ family education
  • Communication with patients and families (e.g. family-centered rounds, challenging conversations, delivering bad news, displaying empathy, service excellence)

Here’s a full list of courses.

  • For further questions or guidance through the reservation process, please email
  • Simulation Outreach Coordinator, Heather Walsh, 202-476-4202
  • Simulation Learning Center, 202-476-5816