News 2013: UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing Opens Elisabeth A. Pennington Simulation Laboratory

News 2013: UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing Opens Elisabeth A. Pennington Simulation Laboratory
UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing Opens Elisabeth A. Pennington Simulation Laboratory

New Simulation Lab Provides Nursing Students Multifunctional Teaching and Learning Resource

Chancellor Divina Grossman joined students, faculty, and alumni at the dedication ceremony of the Elisabeth A. Pennington Simulation Laboratory (SimLab) yesterday at 4 pm in the Dion Building. The new SimLab will offer students and faculty in UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing an experimental learning environment designed to prepare future nurses with the equipment and experience necessary to practice basic and advanced nursing skills.

"The Elisabeth A. Pennington Simulation Lab will provide our future nurses the best resources available so they can develop the necessary skills to offer creative, compassionate care," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. "We are grateful to Dean Pennington for her vision and significant contributions to the nursing profession and educational field. Her commitment to her students and care for patients are what has made this SimLab possible."

Elisabeth Pennington was Dean and Professor at UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing from 1993 to 2003. She began her training in nursing at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Medford, MA, received her B.S in nursing from Boston University, and completed both of her graduate degrees at Columbia University, NY, with a master's degree in education (MEd), focusing on curriculum and teaching of nursing - and a doctoral degree (EdD) in Administration of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs. It is in her name the SimLab was dedicated for her continuous support of the College of Nursing and the state-of-the-art new simulation lab.

"Medical care of the acutely ill patient has advanced tremendously over the fifty years that I have been a nurse," said Dr. Pennington. "The nurse has become a pivotal deliverer of care. Simple skills labs are no longer sufficient. Nursing education needs to be able to simulate situations that mimic reality and provide the student of nursing with the thinking as well as the doing skills."

The lab will contain hospital beds, advanced lab equipment, and adult and pediatric mannequins, including "SimuMan" who has a beating heart, bodily functions that can be measured, and who can be programmed by the faculty to do a variety of things that require expert nursing intervention. This variety of simulation equipment and mannequins allows for skill specific development, accompanied with technology capturing video footage for better instruction.

UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing is uniquely positioned to shape the course of nursing in southeastern New England. As the only four year university that offers a Nursing degree south of Greater Boston, the university embraces the incredible responsibility for the future of nurses and the thousands of patients they will care for each year in southeastern New England and beyond.