Prunty Tapped to Lead Simulation, Interprofessional Education
Faculty member April Prunty, MSN, RN, was recently appointed Director of Simulation and Interprofessional Education at the University of Iowa College of Nursing.
Prunty has been involved with health care simulation for nearly 10 years and has always enjoyed it as a learning modality for health science students.
“I became interested in the development of simulation curriculum to achieve educational and practice initiatives early on when I recognized how much it enhanced traditional educational methods,” said Prunty. “It gives faculty an opportunity to put students in real life, clinical situations without the risk of harm to a patient. The students feel safe and, when executed correctly, we can meet the same outcomes as traditional clinical experiences.”
The new title and related responsibilities reflect the changing environment for simulation at the University of Iowa and with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC).
“April is well qualified for this role and has already demonstrated her ability to lead during her time as faculty coordinator for the college’s Nursing Clinical Education Center (NCEC),” noted Interim Dean Thad Wilson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP.
In her new appointment, Prunty will also have an important role in the upcoming renovation of the NCEC.
“I will serve on the core planning group, along with other key constituents from the UIHC for the renovation,” she explained. “I will represent and advocate for the simulation needs for the College of Nursing for both undergraduate and graduate programs—working closely with faculty and administration.”
Located on the fourth level of the General Hospital at UIHC, the current center contains an 11-room clinical simulation lab where students experience sophisticated and complex nursing care in specialty and clinical situations. Instruction is provided by nurse educators, faculty and practicing clinicians. Staff and students use the facility for simulation training, educational enrichment, orientation and competency review, learning how to provide safe, effective and compassionate care before providing direct care to patients.
The current space opened in 2006 and the shared usage between the college and other health science programs as well as UIHC departments has made scheduling demands increasingly more difficult to accommodate. Simply put, the university has outgrown the space, and therefore, plans for a multi-million dollar renovation for this interprofessional simulation center are moving forward. The new space will provide enhanced opportunities for students and providers to engage in health care simulation across disciplines.
“I appreciate the opportunity to lead a remarkable group of faculty who are passionate about education and giving our students incredible learning experiences in health care simulation,” said Prunty. “This position will afford opportunities to continue to collaborate with the Department of Nursing, our biggest partner at UIHC, as well as other health science disciplines to enhance interprofessional education here at Iowa. We have a responsibility to prepare our students to meet the needs of tomorrow’s patients – interprofessional initiatives will help us do just that.”
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