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UA Little Rock Center for Simulation Innovation Receives International Recognition

The School of Nursing employees in the Center for Simulation Innovation. Photo by Ben Krain.
The School of Nursing employees in the Center for Simulation Innovation.

The UA Little Rock Center for Simulation Innovation in the School of Nursing has been internationally recognized for excellence in nursing simulation education.

The Center for Simulation Innovation (CSI) has received the 2023 Frontline Simulation Champion Excellence Award from the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL), an association dedicated to advancing the science of healthcare simulation.

Nursing faculty members Joanna Hall, director of simulation, and SarahBeth Phillips, assistant clinical professor, received the award on behalf of the UA Little Rock CSI team during the 2023 INACSL Annual Conference held June 14-17 in Providence, Rhode Island.

This award is given in recognition of the high regard the simulation team has earned from their peers, colleagues, and others who submitted praise-filled comments and a strong letter of support with their INACSL nomination. Previous winners include the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery in Pakistan, Duke University School of Nursing, Villanova University School of Nursing, and the University of Central Florida College of Nursing.

“It is indeed an accomplishment to be singled out by the people you work with, and we celebrate this important milestone with you,” said Gayle Stegall, chair of the INACSL Awards Sub Committee. “We are proud of your unique contributions for our simulation community of practice and for the ways you influence and spearhead excellence in simulation.”

The team will also have their name, photo, and a summary of their outstanding contributions to the simulation practice community published in an awards presentation made by the president at the conference and in print in the INACSL online newsletter and on the Hall of Honor section of the organization’s website.

Provost Ann Bain wrote the letter of support bolstering the CSI team nomination packet from Hall.

“In recent years, with new leadership and a complete culture shift, the trajectory of CSI has taken sharp upward turns,” Bain wrote. “This team of dedicated CSI faculty have dramatically increased the impact of simulation not only within the School of Nursing but across the campus community as well. Using data to drive program improvement, impact, and commitment to simulation are evident with this team leading students in over 30,000 hours in CSI in 2022.”

As the largest academic program on the UA Little Rock campus, the School of Nursing and CSI serve approximately 500 undergraduate nursing students, ensuring that every student gets immersive simulation experiences in every course throughout the nursing program.

“Over the last five years, this team has grown into a beacon of excellence, serving as a shining star on the UA Little Rock campus,” Hall said. “This award is a testament to all the amazing things we are doing in our simulation center. CSI would be nothing without the full support and complete buy-in of our simulation faculty and staff. Hands down, it is our team that makes us so special.”

From development of new scenarios to commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the CSI team has a proven track record of innovation, which includes the program’s first-ever transgender scenario, virtual reality scenarios, and a unique multi-patient scenario that Hall says is “unlike any simulation experience I have seen in my career.”

“Further evidence of innovation, creativity, and collaboration include a partnership with the American Sign Language department for interpreter-based scenarios, implementation of EchoMask skins to ensure manikins are representative of diverse patient populations, implementation of a standardized simulation rubric to enhance program assessment, and creation of an electronic health record charting system for in-scenario student use,” Hall said.