South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing Healthcare Simulation Center has reached full accreditation status from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.
Alyssa Zweifel, director of the Healthcare Simulation Center and an assistant professor in the College of Nursing, was notified of the successful accreditation bid in the area of teaching and learning in early November.
“Becoming a fully accredited simulation center is a big deal for us and is the result of years of hard work,” Zweifel said. “This demonstrates that we are consistently meeting the standards of best practice for simulation.”
SDSU’s Healthcare Simulation program is unique in that it has four separate sites, located in Brookings, Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Rapid City. Zweifel, who directs all four sites, explained that full accreditation status demonstrates that each of the sites is meeting the highest standards of practice for simulation, which in turn, generates the best student learning outcomes.
“Here in the College of Nursing, we have a long history of providing high-quality educational experiences in our Healthcare Simulation Centers throughout South Dakota,” said Mary Anne Krogh, dean of the College of Nursing. “Achievement of SSH accreditation provides validation of the excellence that is SDSU Nursing to students, alumni and prospective students. I am extremely proud of our team and this accomplishment.”
SSH is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to improve and reduce errors in patient care through the use of simulation training and peer-reviewed, customized evaluation of health care simulation programs. SSH is also the largest health care accrediting body in the world.
Full accreditation status from SSH signifies that students involved in the simulation program are receiving high-quality education and experiences in health care simulation. According to the SSH, the benefits of accreditation accrue value to the organization, industry and the community. Other benefits include the strengthening of patient safety efforts and a competitive edge in program offerings and grant funding.
Earlier this fall, representatives from SSH made an in-person visit to the Brookings site and virtual visits to the other three sites. They also met with students, staff and faculty to hear about their experiences in the program. SDSU provided SSH with data going back five years, including feedback from students who participated in each of the simulations over the last five years.
“They wanted to see what changes were made from the feedback,” Zweifel said. “The accreditation visit really ensures that our program was physically doing what we say we were doing on paper—meeting the simulation standards of teaching and education.”
SDSU’s HSC is the second accredited simulation center in the state of South Dakota. The Parry Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation in Sioux Falls is the other accredited center.
SDSU will be officially recognized of its simulation accreditation in January 2023 at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare. A few faculty from the College of Nursing will present at the conference, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, and the HSC will receive a plaque to recognize its accreditation status.
The SSH accreditation runs on a five-year cycle and will last until Dec. 31, 2027.