Yale School of Nursing Unveils State-of-the-Art Lab Expansion

By Roxanne Squires

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Yale School of Nursing students will now gain real life experience with the school’s new high-tech teaching space following the completion of its new Simulation Lab and classroom expansion project.

The $5 million project, led by Svigals + Partners with construction manager Shawmut Design and Construction, began in January 2018 and marked completion in July, transforming the space in less than one year, just in time for the fall semester’s start.

The Yale School of Nursing sought an expansion of the existing program to integrate the latest technology and include a wider range of simulated environments as well as expanding curricular offerings by utilizing comprehensive teaching modalities.

According to Ann Kurth, dean of Yale School of Nursing, the new, state-of-the-art teaching spaces are designed to help prepare future Yale nurses to address where health care is going – including outpatient, disaster and telehealth care.

The full scope of the project includes nearly 8,000 square feet of newly designed space; with an enlargement of the Simulation Lab, nearly double the size of the previous facility.

The design includes two new classrooms, a primary care assessment lab, six standardized patient exam rooms, two new debrief rooms, the addition of high-tech observation and control rooms, student and faculty work stations, a 500-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment for home care simulation as well as updates to the Center for Biobehavioral Health Research and first floor café.

Under this design, the expansion offers both new and realistic primary care and home care settings; used for the high-fidelity simulations featured in the curriculum.

“The expansion design reflects the increasing importance of simulations in healthcare education, which allow instructors to observe and record interactions between nursing students and the trained actors who play patients. Discussions of these interactions in debrief sessions that follow are a growing part of medical and nursing school pedagogies. The range of settings included in the new design distinguish this simulation lab from those in other schools, as does the new recording technology integrated into the lab,” said Doug Lovegren, associate principal with Svigals + Partners.

The new facility also features advanced video capture systems integrated into the lab, which allows the faculty to monitor simulations remotely and to play them back for critiquing and discussing with students.

“By investing in the expansion of the simulation lab, Yale School of Nursing is committed to ensuring that the next generation of nurse leaders, scholars, and practitioners are fully prepared for the future challenges in national and global healthcare. This exciting venture will help us maintain our status as one of the top graduate nursing programs in the world,” said Ann Kurth, school dean.