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collaboration, critical care, education, online, simulation



  1. Brady, Debra MSN, RN, CNS
  2. Molzen, Sandra MSN, RN, CNS
  3. Graham, Sandra BS, RD, MHA
  4. O'Neill, Veanne MSN, RN


Advances in patient simulator technology, and the availability of online critical care orientation modules for nurses, provide nurse educators with a golden opportunity to create an innovative model for critical care orientation. Combining the advantages of online education with the benefits of simulation learning creates a course far superior to that produced by using the current educational approaches. This new model captures the flexibility and cost-effectiveness benefits of online learning while engaging the participants in active hands-on experiences to better prepare them for clinical practice. Simulation lab experiences allow the participant to experience a variety of emergent critical situations, take action, and review consequences of choices without jeopardizing patient safety. However, initiating and maintaining a simulator lab is an overwhelming expense for most hospitals. A collaborative education arrangement where hospitals partner to offer a community critical care course and share online and simulator lab costs would make this education model affordable, support national patient safety goals, and meet the need in our communities for highly qualified critical care nurses.