College of Nursing Facilitates Pandemic Simulation
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as NNU classes were being canceled and students were being told to stay inside, the College of Nursing saw an opportunity for real-life training. On March 18, the junior-level BSN students enrolled in “Diverse Populations in Community” participated in a pandemic simulation on campus that included a hypothetical clinic and public health department.
“When we started canceling certain clinical sites, we knew we needed to create a relevant experience that would continue to prepare students to participate as an RN in a variety of settings,” said Michelle Hunt, assistant professor and BSN program chair. “We are so fortunate to have Dr. Linda Valenzuela on our team as she is an experienced public health nurse. She was able to pull from her expertise and use current information to create a learning experience for our junior students.”
Course faculty Dr. Valenzuela, Prof. Alex Bluff and nursing lab staff Annette Thompson helped in developing the simulation for students to understand the various roles and sites utilized when handling this type of crisis. Students reported that the simulation pushed them to use critical thinking when working with patients exhibiting signs of infectious diseases to better serve their communities in the future.
“This simulation was a great experience for us to broaden our understanding of helping not only in a clinical setting like the hospital but also allowed us to better understand how to prepare for community disasters,” said Joe Puzio, junior nursing student. “NNU nursing is preparing us to be a more well-rounded nurse that will help us when any situation arises.”
During the simulation the nursing team worked together running stations, cleaning spaces and ensuring social distancing standards were maintained. Students identified the infection rate and followed protocol to report and track patients using national standards.
“The students responded to our request to show up with very little notice and they gave us their best,” Hunt said. “This was a great example of how nurses are prepared to serve in a quickly changing environment!”
To learn more about NNU’s nursing program, visit nnu.edu/nursing.