Concordia University Ann Arbor will hold its ninth annual Veterans Day Celebration on Friday, Nov. 11. The School of Nursing and Justice and Public Policy program will join together for an inter-professional education (IPE) simulation as they prepare for careers in nursing and public service.

The simulation will take place in the CUAA North Building simulation center, part of the School of Nursing’s recently renovated, state-of-the-art facility. In this particular simulation, the nursing students will assess a hospitalized veteran who suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time in the military. As the situation escalates, the justice and public policy students will be on hand to lend their expertise.

“Simulation replicates real experiences that our students will face as nurses,” said Anita Simmons, director of simulation. “We bring in actors and lead guided experiences that are completely interactive imitations of the real world. We run through each simulation few different times, changing up the scene so that students can see how a different variable might lead to a new outcome.”

CUAA Nursing Facility
CUAA nursing students participate in at least 90 minutes of simulation each week, practicing real-life scenarios with both mannequins and actors.

Concordia nursing students are in simulation labs for at least 90 minutes every week for the entire six semesters of their nursing curriculum. Simulations are based on the lessons being learned in the classroom that week, including both nursing-focused simulations and IPE simulations that integrate students from other majors and professional fields on campus.

Friday’s simulation will be the third IPE simulation that the School of Nursing has done since its launch at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester.

“Through IPE, our nursing students learn to collaborate with other professionals and discover what it means to have the right assessment data for whomever they’re turning the situation over to,” said Betsy Cambridge, simulation instructor. “Medical care is not just a nurse or doctor, it’s a team of people working together.”

In addition to the five, high-acuity simulation rooms, the School of Nursing features a simulation apartment, assessment lab with eight exam rooms, a 10-bed skills lab, and pod-style learning stations to facilitate student collaboration.

In a previous IPE simulation with the Justice and Public Policy program, a patient with a traumatic brain injury became volatile in one of the simulation hospital rooms. Nursing students had to assess what potential, unconventional weapons could be used in the room and ensure a cooperative environment to do their check-up.  In another IPE simulation, the homecare nurse had a police escort along for the home visit to the simulation apartment, investigation possible evidence of domestic violence abuse while the nurse cared for the patient.

CUAA Nursing Facility
CUAA School of Nursing features five, high-acuity simulation hospital rooms as well as simulation apartment complete with a full-size kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

The School of Nursing at Concordia is in the process of planning IPE simulations with other programs on campus in addition to the justice and public policy program, including athletic training, education, psychology, and family life education.

“A big learning piece with simulation is the debriefing that takes place afterwards,” said Simmons. “We typically videotape simulations so we can discuss with the students what occurred, why they made certain decisions, and how they can improve.”

For more information on Friday’s Veterans Day simulation, contact Rachel Ferry at or (734) 995-7403. Classroom simulations are not open to the public.