Nursing professor studies with prestigious faculty development program

April 11, 2012

By Tim Belter ’13

Thanks to a healthy mix of technology and realism, nursing students can study and treat medical problems without putting a patient’s life in danger.

Fed information by a professor at a computer, mannequins, not humans, are used to display symptoms that students must then interpret and treat as they would with a real patient.

“It’s a safe place for the student to learn and it is a true learning environment,” said nursing professor Janet Jackson. “It’s not a static learning environment. The scenario starts and they act as the nurse.”

Jackson recognizes the growing importance of this educational tool, and she’s bringing the latest techniques and advances to Bradley’s classrooms. Jackson is a member of the National League for Nursing’s Selective Faculty Leadership Development Program for Simulation Educators, a yearlong continuing education program for nursing professors.

“The program provides me with expertise and allows me to keep up with the latest research and best teaching techniques,” she said. “It provides a network of resources for our department and connects Bradley with schools all around the country.”

Dr. Pamela Jeffries, a prominent simulation educator and researcher of John Hopkins University School of Nursing, started and directed the program. Participants attend research conferences, seminars and online education programs and collaborate on research projects. Jackson’s group is working on research about faculty development. The program began in September 2011 and continues until this fall.

“I’ve really increased my knowledge about simulations,” Jackson said. “The program has helped me recognize the importance of integrating simulations into the curriculum and developing faculty to work with it.”

Jackson had already planned to go on sabbatical during the fall of 2011 to study simulation education. When she heard about this program, she applied and was one of 20 nurse educators selected from around the country. This semester, Jackson is back in the classroom and putting her new knowledge to work for her students.

“It’s an exciting way to learn,” Jackson said. “The students are nervous, but they have fun. As I tell them, in the lab, they’re not the students, they’re the nurses.”