Nursing Simulation Labs and Skills Labs

It takes more than theoretical knowledge to be an outstanding nurse. You also need the skills, confidence and clinical reasoning to think on your feet in potentially stressful situations. That’s why nursing simulation labs and skills labs are essential to the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track.

Clinical setting with monitors and students practicing nursing techniques

Simulation labs are the time to make mistakes and learn. During these labs, you are tasked to apply the nursing concepts gained through online coursework and apply them to patient care. You will practice clinical skills using advanced medical technology — the same found in hospitals and healthcare facilities — while interacting with high-tech medical manikins.

Labs will challenge you to think quickly on your feet and develop clinical judgment in a safe, risk-free environment.

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2 UIW nursing students working together in a lab setting
Students collaborate in small groups during skills labs to learn hands-on nursing techniques, such as taking vitals.

Nursing Skills Labs 

Before you can practice as a nurse, you must first master the basics. Designed to resemble a hospital environment, nursing skills labs allow you to practice applying fundamental nursing skills, such as:

  • Checking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, etc.)
  • Conducting a head-to-toe nursing assessment
  • Inserting catheters and IVs
  • Nasogastric intubation
  • Treating wounds

In addition to attending Accelerated BSN skills labs two to three days a week, we offer open lab hours for students who want to hone their skills further.

Nursing Simulation Labs

Building on the skills lab concept, nursing simulation labs are about as close as it is possible to get to real-world practice without interacting with human patients. Here, you’ll participate in various scenarios designed to challenge and grow your ability to solve problems, think critically and collaborate with others.

At the heart of these mock scenarios are state-of-the-art medical manikins. Controlled by your simulation instructors, these manikins don’t just look human; they act it, too, so you can actively engage in patient assessment and care. Manikins can simulate:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood loss
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Responses to medical procedures

After each simulation lab, you and your lab group will watch recordings of each scenario and discuss how it went. This allows you to learn from your and other students’ mistakes and helps your instructor determine what they need to focus on to best help you.

UIW student practicing on manikin with stethoscope
UIW nursing student practicing on manikin with stethoscope

Learn in a Safe Environment

Featuring high-tech human patient simulators and task trainers as a substitute for real-life patients, skills and simulation labs provide a safe environment to practice and refine your clinical skills — whether inserting an IV or responding to a life-threatening medical emergency. During these sessions at our state-of-the-art ABSN learning site in San Antonio, you’ll receive the kind of individualized attention you can only get with small class sizes.

Outside building view of UIW's campus

For More Information

Contact us to learn more about how our ABSN skills and simulation labs prepare you for a future in nursing.