INACSL: Tell us about your personal and professional background.
Rosemary: I started my nursing career after graduating from Mount Wachusett Community College in 2005. The bulk of my nursing practice has been in acute medical-surgical settings, both in community and large teaching hospitals. Over the last few years, I have transitioned into a full-time position in the simulation lab that serves pre-licensure and graduate students.
I have lived in southeastern Massachusetts with my husband for 16 years. In my free time, I enjoy perennial gardening and during the colder months, paper crafting and needlepoint.
INACSL: How did you become interested in simulation?
Rosemary: After enrolling in graduate school at UMass Boston, I accepted a position as a teaching assistant within the clinical lab. I fully credit this position for sparking my interest in simulation. In order to learn more, I attended a Gateway Debriefing Skills Workshop at the Center for Medical Simulation with Mary Fey. It was shortly after this workshop that I transitioned into a full-time simulation educator position.
INACSL: Explain your current role in simulation. Please elaborate.
Rosemary: As director of the Center for Clinical Education & Research at UMass Boston, I am responsible for the ongoing development, evaluation and advancement of simulation and lab-based activities. In addition to course simulation, the CCER also provides clinical orientation, tutoring, remediation, and workshops to approximately 500 students each semester. After a year of planning and design, I am in the midst of moving our simulation and skills lab to a larger space on campus.
Last year, I co-founded a local networking group for simulation educators in the greater Boston area. We meet regularly to share ideas,recent successes, and available simulation resources. Looking forward to 2020, I am excited to participate in the NLN Simulation Leadership Institute.
INACSL: What value do you see in simulation as a teaching-learning strategy?
Rosemary: Simulation has tremendous impact on learners and can easily be adapted to meet specific objectives. Within a supportive learning environment, students can practice critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills independently. As an educator, it’s extremely rewarding to hear students make theory-practice connections during the debrief.
INACSL: How have the INACSL Standards of Best Practice impacted your simulation program?
Rosemary: Adopting the INACSL Standards of Best Practice has had a tremendous impact on the quality of simulation offered at UMass Boston. Specifically, following the INACSL Standards has provided consistency among simulation educators and improved student satisfaction with their simulation experiences. Debriefing strategies have also been shared with clinical faculty and incorporated into post-clinical conferences.
INACSL: In closing, what advice do you have for simulation educators?
Rosemary: First, connect with other sim educators and stay in touch! Second, use the INACSL Standards to guide your practice in simulation. Third, occasionally put yourself on the other side of the glass and experience simulation from the learner’s perspective.