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Health Simulation Labs

While classroom learning is essential to effective, high-quality nursing and allied health programs, it is “experiential learning” that plays the most vital role in developing solid clinical and critical thinking skills. In fact, at least 50% of the healthcare educational experience is hands-on learning.

By adding clinical learning scenarios in a health simulation laboratory, Northeast Iowa Community College creates a clinical environment similar to those found in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities to significantly increase the amount of practice that students receive. This will help NICC enhance the students’ learning as well as engage more practitioners in healthcare careers.

What does the Health Simulation Laboratory offer?

The Health Simulation Laboratories at NICC campuses in Calmar and Peosta can be outfitted to duplicate an emergency room, maternity suite or other clinical settings. The centerpiece of learning in these scenarios is a human patient simulator. These sophisticated computer-driven mannequins replicate human physiology and clinical symptoms and responses with remarkable realism. Critical to the learning experience is the digital video recording of each simulation exercise, along with performance evaluation software. Using these tools, faculty can review, evaluate, track and instruct NICC students in the techniques of clinical care.

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Key Benefits of the Health Simulation Laboratory

  • A safe, controlled environment for students to practice and refine their clinical skills and decision-making abilities before working with patients.

  • Improved patient safety by creating additional clinical practice opportunities, NICC is doing its part to reduce medical errors and increase patient safety.

  • Students and practitioners from various disciplines can practice collaborating in realistic healthcare scenarios.

  • Using sophisticated digital recording and performance assessment software created by Education Management Solutions, NICC can record student exercises and then review, critique, evaluate and report on their clinical skills ability.

  • Digitally recorded simulation exercises can be viewed via the web. This gives faculty and students great learning flexibility. They can view and review their performances as often as they want and from a variety of locations.

  • Community partnerships with area healthcare facilities will allow further exploration and expansion of learning opportunities.

  • Opportunities for continuing education through the use of simulation will be possible for community healthcare providers.


The Calmar campus Health Simulation Laboratory is located in Max Clark Hall. The Peosta campus Health Simulation Laboratory is located in the lower level of the main building.