With over 1,700 members worldwide, INACSL is an organization advancing the science of healthcare simulation. Healthcare simulation started in the 1950’s with the creation of Resusci Annie (Rescue Anne or CPR Annie) by Peter Safar and Asmund Laerdal. Simulation has evolved since the 1950’s with recent research, including the National State Boards of Nurses’ (NSBN) landmark Simulation Study, indicating the effectiveness of simulation in healthcare education. Backed by research, and with new technological advancements every day, healthcare simulation is here to stay as an important tool in educating healthcare providers. Through the efforts of expert members and affiliate organizations, INACSL has continued to transform practice to improve patient safety through excellence in healthcare simulation since 2003.

Founding of the Organization (1976-2003)

It started with networking. In 1976, a group of nursing educators from around the U.S. got together at the Health Education Media Association (HEMA) conference in New Orleans and began a dialogue. Among that first group of what would one day grow to become INACSL was Charlene Clark, Kathleen Mikan, Kay Hodson-Carlton, and Joanne Crow.

After the initial meeting, interested persons met at the Biennial North American Learning Resource Centers (LRC) Conference and the National Conference on Nursing Skills Lab on an annual basis. In 1999, a group informally began discussing the need to network throughout the year rather than limiting networking to conference gatherings. Interested leaders met again in 2001 and decided to create a formal organization. In April of 2002, the organization was named the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) and on January 3, 2003, INACSL was incorporated in the state of Texas.

Early Years (2004-2014)

From 2004-2014 INACSL grew from a volunteer run organization with under 100 members to a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit (December 17, 2007) with 1,400 members, a staff and headquarters based in Raleigh, N.C. During the early years of the organization, an infrastructure to better serve members was developed and deployed. INACSL also built strong relationships with like-minded organizations, resulting in collaborative efforts to advance the science of simulation, funds for conference scholarships, research grants for members, and the creation of an electronic research journal.

INACSL’s journal, initially called Clinical Simulation in Nursing Education and published only 2 times per year, grew to offer monthly issues. The journal was later renamed Clinical Simulation in Nursing with Dr. Suzie Kardong-Edgren (2007-2017) as Editor-in-Chief. Learn more about the journal’s history.

In 2010, the organization began work on what would become the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation©, the seminal documents of the organization. Learn more about the history of the INACSL Standards.

INACSL Today (2015-Present)

With over 2,500 members worldwide, INACSL continues to strengthen our ties with like-minded organizations in the industry while reaching out to individuals focusing on improving healthcare simulation internationally. INACSL continues to expand its face-to-face and virtual educational opportunities for individuals working in healthcare simulation. As an ANCC-accredited provider of nursing continuing professional development, INACSL provides a unique opportunity for simulationists to earn healthcare simulation-specific CNE credits.

INACSL regularly revises and updates the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation© as technology and research continue to inform the practice. The latest version (3rd edition) of the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation© was published in December 2016.

In 2015 INACSL’s monthly, electronic journal, Clinical Simulation in Nursing earned its first Impact Factor rating (1.36), placing the Journal in the second quartile of the category of Nursing – a remarkable accomplishment for a first-year Impact Factor publication.

Both the practice of simulation as an educational strategy and INACSL have grown rapidly over the last few years. INACSL continues to pursue its mission to advance the science of healthcare simulation and operationalized that mission through ongoing development of the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation©. The trend in the growth of simulation for healthcare education is expected to continue and accelerate. New growth potentials are expected each year. INACSL will continue to be a leader for nursing simulation.