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Human patient simulation provides students with experiences and skills they might not otherwise encounter in a clinical rotation. It also offers an experience during which the time is suspended, thus affording students time to think critically, make decisions, and act, as opposed to the fast-paced hospital environment where students may have neither a clear picture of the situation nor adequate time to act. This article presents the design of a simulation center within a school of nursing along with several areas of considerations for successful implementation of the laboratory. A simulation scenario focusing on the acute coronary syndrome used during a final semester critical care nursing course is described and student evaluation of the experience analyzed. The evaluation includes student assessment of the simulation process for the development of necessary patient care skills and the ability to test decision-making and critical thinking skills. The experience with the initial integration of simulation into the nursing curriculum is discussed, inclusive of opportunities for improvement.
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