Nursing faculty present COVID-19 infection control, quality and safety webinar

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The College of Nursing simulation faculty presented a webinar titled "Simulation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Maintaining Safety and Quality" on June 17 in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning with simulation. The purpose of the webinar, now available online, was to highlight key safety and infection control considerations for faculty and students when returning to and reopening simulation laboratories.

Credit: Penn State

Each Penn State campus, including Behrend, Fayette, Harrisburg, Altoona, Mont Alto, Scranton, and University Park, that offers the general bachelor's degree in nursing or second degree program has a simulation lab. These labs are designed to provide a realistic clinical environment for students to practice in.  

The simulation webinar highlighted specific plans and recommendations for alterations and clinical replacement activities that will be required due to the COVID-19 physical distancing, as well as personal protective considerations for faculty, students and simulation equipment.

The webinar addressed planning for multiple contingencies and unknowns in the rapidly changing situation from COVID-19 while presenting strategies to manage disruptions to clinical sites. The webinar highlighted the best methods for ensuring that simulation learning during the pandemic maintains a high level of quality and evaluation. The webinar drew a large audience from organizations across the United States and participants from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The college provides simulation teaching and learning at University Park as well as at six other Commonwealth Campuses.

“We are fortunate to be able to apply the most current standards for simulation education to our nursing students and COVID-19 has required us to be even more innovative and creative in how we develop, deliver and evaluate our simulation experiences. We are very focused on the student experience and outcomes when learning via simulation and that emphasis will not change during the time we are adjusting during the pandemic,” stated Chris Garrison, associate professor and simulation director at University Park.

Joining Garrison to present the webinar were Patty Fitzgerald, Penn State Harrisburg; Sharon Lacue, Penn State Altoona; and Kristal Hockenberry, Penn State's University Park campus. The webinar was presented as part of the College of Nursing outreach and professional development efforts to extend the expertise of our faculty to broader nursing, health care and friends of nursing audiences.

This fall, the college plans to host a follow-on webinar on "Implementing the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation."

“We have extensive expertise in teaching and learning with simulation and we will continue to provide professional development opportunities such as this webinar in the future,” stated Kelly Wolgast, associate professor and assistant dean for outreach and professional development.

Visit the College of Nursing website here to register for the simulation webinar

For more information on the College of Nursing outreach and professional development activities, visit or contact [email protected].