Skip to main content

New simulation center successfully serves USD students

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The highly anticipated University of South Dakota Nursing Center for Simulation and Interprofessional Education is open to heavy use and rave reviews.

Following a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 27, students from many programs of the university’s School of Health Sciences are benefitting from the technological and teaching advantages offered by the simulation center.

This new center, located in the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building on the USD campus, is a 1,700 square foot simulated hospital training center, consisting of three patient simulation rooms with adjacent observation/debriefing rooms. Human patient simulators (high-tech mannequins) can be manipulated from a control room. This technology enables faculty to manipulate patient conditions such as heart rates, blood pressure, and other symptoms so students experience varying patient care scenarios. Three cameras in each room capture the scenarios on video for faculty-student discussion and learning purposes. Interprofessional education involves teaching students from various health care fields to work together, cooperatively and collaboratively.

Barbara Stolle, simulation center manager, reported that numerous training sessions have been completed in the early weeks of operation. “We had 114 USD nursing and School of Health Science students complete training sessions at the simulation center during just three days in early September,” Stolle reported. “Students and faculty alike are very excited about the center, and we expect heavy use to continue.”

According to Carla Dieter, Chair of the USD Department of Nursing, “Simulation exercises provide students with an invaluable opportunity to work on unfolding cases (where a patient’s condition changes and progresses over time) in a concentrated timeframe. In a few hours of a simulated experience, an evolving case can portray how a patient’s condition may change over many hours or days.  This allows students to better understand how their decisions directly impact patient outcomes.  Students also learn how to improve or change decisions.”

“Simulations mimic reality and are designed to demonstrate procedures, decision-making and clinical reasoning,” added Dieter. “It is our mission to develop scholars, practitioners, and leaders in interprofessional education and practice with the competencies needed to work effectively together to care for patients and communities.”

A photo of the leadership team for the newly opened Nursing Center for Simulation and Interprofessional Education: (l to r) Julie Nelson, Learning Resource Lab Coordinator; Kevin Brady, Instructional Designer/Simulation Specialist; Barb Stolle, Instructor/Simulation Center Manager is available for download at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News