Published on August 11, 2023 by Sofia Paglioni  
Four Nursing Students Caring For Patient

The Experiential Learning and Simulation Center in Samford University’s College of Health Sciences is now one of the four accredited academic health care centers in Alabama and one of only 300 accredited centers in the world. The center was granted full accreditation in May 2023 in the area of Teaching and Education from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. The Center must have a minimum of two years of data supporting both core standards as well as those in teaching and education in order to receive accreditation.

Samford’s Simulation Center, which plays a critical role in the development of clinical skills, prepares health science students in a Christian environment to be competent, compassionate and innovative practitioners through experiential learning and simulation experiences. With a commitment to interprofessional education, patient safety and professional practice standards, the center prepares undergraduate and graduate students to manage complex health care scenarios in a realistic yet safe environment.

The Simulation Center is located on a single floor to encourage interprofessional activity. Twelve programs, ranging from nurse anesthesia to speech-language pathology, utilize the 22,000 sq. foot space to prepare for their future careers.

The Experiential Learning and Simulation Center gives faculty the resources they need to develop dynamic, hands-on learning experiences that prepare students to seamlessly move into the clinical practice setting. The center houses an operating room where nurse anesthesia students can work with a human patient simulation. This “patient” has human-like physiology, including lung mechanics and pharmacological responses that accurately react to health monitors. Other practical spaces, such as a standardized patient suite and a home care lab, give students the opportunity to experience their specialized fields while upholding professional practice standards.

This center highlights Samford University’s commitment to professional excellence, experiential learning, and Christian ethos by providing students with an impeccable space to sharpen their skills and discover their passion for health care. Jill Pence, executive director of the Experiential Learning and Simulation Center, said, “Having the opportunity to work alongside students from other health care professions on a regular basis allows our students to enter the workforce prepared to deliver safe, effective care in a team environment. Knowing what we are doing is grounded in the principles of simulation education allows Samford students to graduate and begin their career with an advantage of being prepared to face the challenges of today’s health care workforce.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.