The college's $6.1 million M. Christine Schwartz Experiential Learning & Simulation Laboratory is among the largest at any U.S. nursing school.
Launched by a generous $5 million donation from M. Christine Schwartz, the College of Nursing is home to a state-of-the-art simulation lab, opened in August 2019 at the main campus in Chicago. The expanded M. Christine Schwartz Experiential Learning & Simulation Laboratory features 15,000 square feet of teaching and learning space, all designed with students in mind.
A highlight of the lab is the Nita & Phil Francis Family Birthing Suite, generously funded by a $1 million gift from the Francises.
Additional alumni and friends made gifts to support the lab, including the graduating classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019, which raised money for class gifts donated for lab enhancements.
Throughout the Schwartz Lab, students are able to practice skills and learn to assess, plan care, react to changes in their patients and the environment, problem-solve and think critically.
Located on the lower level of the Chicago Campus building, the lab features:
Nita & Phil Francis Family Birthing Suite
The birthing suite enables students to develop their clinical skills related to labor and delivery with the use of high-tech, high-fidelity manikins such as Laerdal’s SimMom™ and SimBaby™. From a control room behind a one-way glass, instructors view and record students at work while operating the voices and physiological responses of the manikins. Later, the students review their recorded simulations with instructors and peers.
The team-based-learning classroom for 70 students has grouped seating. Students can work in small teams at tables equipped with fl at screens on which they can share completed work with the whole class.
A 10-bed skills lab features fully equipped functional head wall units and up-to-date technology. It can also be converted to a simulated ER.
Five patient rooms are set up as primary care clinic rooms. Each includes an exam table, diagnostic and physical examination equipment, and a computer on which to document findings.
Standardized Patient Rooms
Five simulation rooms emulate a variety of environments in which students are able to develop their assessment, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning skills. Standardized patients can be brought in to portray pediatric, medical/surgical, ICU and geriatric scenarios. Like the Francis Birthing Suite, each is equipped with a control room from which instructors can assess the students’ simulation.
Two seminar/debriefing rooms bring students together to observe real-time footage of themselves and their peers in simulation. Here they gather with their faculty instructor for dialogue, to give and receive constructive feedback regarding what was learned in the simulation experience.
Home Care Setting
A fully furnished living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom allow students to practice skills for caring for patients across the life span in the home. Like other spaces throughout the learning lab, this model apartment is equipped with a control room from which instructors can assess students’ simulation.
Mental Health Room
A peaceful setting furnished and arranged for comfortable conversation, the mental health room is also equipped with a control room from which instructors can assess students’ simulation.
Student Study Lounge
Nursing school can be intense, and Schwartz recognized that students need a quiet space of their own to work and prepare for the lab experience.
From hallway nooks, to a “living wall,” to a meditation room and lactation room, the Schwartz Lab was designed with students in mind.