New Facility Will Provide High Fidelity Simulation Opportunities for Nursing Prelicensure Students Salt Lake City — Western Governors University is observing National Nurses Week 2010 with a special event on Friday, May 7, when its College of Health Professions opens its new simulation lab in Santa Ana, California. The new facility, which is equipped with a state-of-the-art simulator and skilled trainers, will support WGU’s B.S. in Nursing (Prelicensure) degree program. The program, which was launched last July in collaboration with local hospital partners and state workforce agencies, is designed to be the first online, competency-based bachelor’s degree program aimed at preparing students for initial licensure as registered nurses. Clinical simulations are a key element of WGU’s competency-based, online B.S. in Nursing (Prelicensure) program—students must demonstrate their ability in the simulation labs before they work with actual patients. While the use of simulation in nursing programs has grown in the past few years, WGU is one of the few baccalaureate programs to use simulation to assess student competency. The new lab will house two fully equipped hospital rooms with a state-of-the-art high fidelity human-patient simulator as well as student workspace with computers and printers. The learning space will be scheduled for regular simulation learning labs as well as providing an option for students to gain additional practice. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Friday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m., at the lab, which is located at 3 MacArthur Place, Suite 765, Santa Ana, CA, 92707, followed by an open house from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Santa Ana, 201 E MacArthur Blvd. WGU Nursing faculty presented simulation demonstrations in the lab at regularly scheduled intervals through the day. In addition to the Prelicensure degree program, WGU’s College of Health Professions offers five flexible and affordable degree programs designed to meet the educational needs of working adults. Rather than attending traditional classes and earning credit hours, students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and competency by writing papers, completing assignments, and taking exams. Degree requirements have been developed in collaboration with the healthcare industry to ensure that graduates are skilled in patient care, nurse education, and nurse leadership. Each student is assigned a mentor, who acts as coach and guide throughout the degree program. Students work with their mentors to develop an academic schedule that fits their lives and schedules. For more information, go www.wgu.edu/nursing_programs or call 1-866-225-5948 (866-CALL-WGU).