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Clinical Learning Skills Laboratory

School of Nursing > Clinical Learning Skills Laboratory

Clinical Learning Laboratory

clinical learning lab

The Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning (ZIEL) is located on the floors 3, 4, and 5 of the Health Education Building. The institute collaborates with faculty from all campus programs to provide advanced health care education to ensure optimal education and patient outcomes.


Multifaceted learning

The lab is equipped with the most advanced technology allowing students to interact with a educational electronic medical record (O2EDU) that mimics the one used at the University of Kansas Hospital. Students practice technical skills within a deliberate practice framework. To support this framework, the practice lab is equipped with large screen monitors for video displays which can be controlled by the instructor or the students while practicing.


The practice laboratory offers six exam stations outfitted to represent a medical office building and seven stations equipped as a general hospital ward. The home suite is fully functional and designed to facilitate training of healthcare that occurs within a patient's home environment. The ZIEL houses seven moderate fidelity manikins, JUNOs. The JUNOs are computer-based active manikins, controlled with touchscreen devices for basic physical assessment and nursing clinical skills. The 4th floor is designed as a simulation hospital and includes four patient suites (and four debriefing rooms), with designs that can adapt to represent an operating room, labor & delivery suite, intensive care unit, general ward and emergency room.  The simulation hospital includes ancillary areas such as a team work-station, medication dispensing room, inpatient lab and patient waiting areas.

The undergraduate nursing experience

Nursing students participate in a variety of lab-based curricular activities intended to strengthen critical thinking, decision making, delegation and teamwork skills. In the early undergraduate Nursing curriculum, students learn the necessary physical assessment and psychomotor skills through a deliberate practice model that promotes active and self-directed learning. After demonstrating basic competencies, students are prepared to begin clinical courses where they work alongside faculty and registered nurses to care for patients.

To enhance clinical learning, each clinical course is supplemented with lab sessions that offer opportunities to practice advanced nursing skills and simulations to practice those same skills in the context of a patient case. Simulations also focus on practicing teamwork strategies including communication and crisis resource management with other professions. Some simulations are uniprofessional (nursing students only) and others are interprofessional (multiple professions). The simulation curriculum was built to provide students with the opportunities to practice strategies and interventions they may not encounter or do independently during their clinical rotations. Specifically, working in a healthcare team to make decisions about a patient's care. The Schools of Nursing and Medicine have worked together to create a longitudinal curriculum in which nursing and medical students participate in two simulations every semester, together. This training is unique to the University of Kansas Medical Center and is intended to better prepare graduates to effectively and efficiently care for emergent or urgent patient conditions as a healthcare team.

The graduate nursing experience

Graduate nursing students participate in several types of lab-based curricular activities. All students seeking an advanced degree in a clinical specialty area can expect to use the ZIEL for procedure training and simulation-based education.

Midwifery students experience several simulations with Victoria, the high-fidelity birthing manikin. Those simulations include a normal labor and delivery and complicated deliveries. Family NP and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP students participate in several out-patient, standardized patient (live actors) simulations. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP students will participate in manikin-based simulations in the ZIEL hospital. Students in NRSG 801 Advanced Health Assessment  come to campus four times during the semester to participate in classroom activities, skills practice, and practice advanced physical assessment skills.

Graduate teaching assistants

The Skills Lab employs about 10 graduate teaching assistants per semester. The graduate teaching assistants work closely with faculty to provide excellent simulated learning environments. Particularly, these expert nurses facilitate small groups of learners during procedural skills training sessions.

Last modified: Aug 23, 2018
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