Simulation Program at the Emory Nursing Learning Center


The simulation program at the Emory Nursing Learning Center in Decatur, Ga. is a $20.6M expansion that includes state-of-the-art simulation and skills labs that provide experiential and immersive learning for students, faculty, and Emory Healthcare nurses. 


Since 1905, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) has evolved from a small training program in a fifty-bed hospital to an internationally renowned school that now enrolls more than 1,000 baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral students each year.

NHWSN has expanded its footprint and renovated 70,000-square-feet in Decatur, Ga. to become the Emory Nursing Learning Center. The $20.6M expansion includes a state-of-the-art simulation and skills labs, providing experiential and immersive learning for students, and the Emory Nursing Experience, a program for continuing professional education in partnership with Emory Healthcare Nursing.

Support for this project will help ensure that NHWSN remains a leader in nursing education.

“Our vision for the Emory Nursing Learning Center is to help meet the complex, chaotic, and quickly changing needs of patients, families, clinical settings, and health care systems that rely on nurses who can make fast-but-effective decisions, contribute to teams, communicate well and mitigate errors,” Dean Linda McCauley said. “I’m very excited to see this cutting-edge facility take shape and expand our services beyond campus and traditional sites.”


Welcome to the Simulation Program at the Emory Nursing Learning Center. Our mission is to lead a new reality/future for nursing education, research, practice, and lifelong learning, ultimately to advance health care delivery for individuals, families, and communities. Our vision is establishing an academic practice for simulation-based learning for nursing, interprofessional, and transdisciplinary education and collaborative practice.

The values that get us to mastering the art of creating and providing an extraordinary simulation experience are integrity, accountability, quality, communication, service orientation, and inclusivity.

The Simulation Program at the Emory Nursing Learning Center is positioned to be a leader in the use of simulation and is a state-of-the-art facility with over 70,000 square feet of teaching and learning space and ample rooms for skills attainment, structured practice, briefing, and skills assessment sessions. You can find a description of each room here.

Our Program maintains and utilizes a large collection of low-, medium-, and high-fidelity mechanical simulators that support skills attainment sessions and structured practice sessions for all core skill sets from invasive clinical skills to communication skills to team building skills. A list of equipment can be found here.

A Look Inside

Take a look inside Emory Nursing Learning Center.

Designed and built by Beck, the simulation and clinical skills lab is the largest simulation center in Metro Atlanta and provides an immersive learning experience for students.


General Forms

Faculty & Staff Forms

Design Resources

Simulation Facilitation Resources

Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice

Faculty and Staff Development Opportunities

An online simulation course (basic) was developed in collaboration with the Emory Nursing Experience (ENE). The Simulation Course has been reviewed for contact hours and available here.

This resource is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $499,999. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Maxworthy, J., Epps, C., Okuda, Y., Mancini, M., & Palaganas, J. (2022). Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, Wilkins.

Levine, A., DeMaria, S., Schwartz, A., & Sim, A. (2014). The Comprehensive Textbook of Healthcare Simulation. New York: Springer Publishing.


School of Nursing faculty are active in efforts to improve simulation education, research, and practice. Learn more about a handful of these studies.

An Innovative Educational Approach Integrating Simulation, Classroom, and Clinical Practice for Teaching Pediatric Nursing

Through the use of simulation, classroom lecture was matched with simulated patient scenarios. Concurrent with simulation, the instructors teaching students in the practice setting review the simulation materials for each week. In this way, clinical practice assignments are matched with simulation scenarios and lecture content.

Comparison of Virtual Simulation to Clinical Practice for Pre-licensure Nursing Students in Pediatrics

The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic has required a transition from in-person clinical practice to virtual. This study compares the standardized assessment test scores of pre-licensure nursing students who completed their pediatric clinical practicum in person for both the clinical and simulation practice settings versus virtually.

Assessing baccalaureate nursing students’ knowledge and attitudes of social determinants of health after a health equity simulation

For nursing students, competency in population health management involves acquiring knowledge and forming attitudes about the impact of the social determinants of health (SDoH) on health equity. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess nursing students’ knowledge and attitudes about the SDoH and health equity following a focused simulation activity.

Evaluating a low-cost disaster preparedness simulation for pre-licensure nursing students

This is a report of an educational strategy to prepare nursing students to respond to disasters. The strategy includes an emergency preparedness disaster simulation (EPDS) implemented in a school of nursing simulation lab using patient simulators, task trainer mannequins, and live actors. The EPDS immerses student groups into a “tornado ravaged assisted‐living facility” where the principles of emergency preparedness can be employed.

Featured Articles and Research

A list of faculty simulation scholarly activities may be found here.

Contact Us

Laika Steiger - SIM
Executive Director, Emory Nursing Learning Center
Laika Steiger - SIM

Laika is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist and has over 18 years of experience in patient simulation. Her journey began in 2006 at the University of Miami, where she received comprehensive training in supporting simulation activities that she used to partner with nurse educators at Baptist Health South Florida, contributing significantly to the simulation training for new graduate nurse residents. In 2007, she joined WellStar Health System in Atlanta, GA, initially as the Coordinator for Patient Simulation and ultimately rising to the position of Assistant Vice President of Organizational Learning Operations. In this role, she led education teams and spearheaded the establishment of the first non-academic simulation center in Georgia.

Laika started at Emory in 2018 where she has worked to incorporate simulation in multiple programs such as their Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (WOC) certification program and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Clinical Skills Training courses. In 2020, she was asked to lead simulation on interim basis and as of January 2023 is now back to fully leading simulation as the Executive Director of the Simulation Program at the Emory Nursing Learning Center.

Valencia King - SIM
Simulation Operations Manager
Valencia King - SIM

Valencia King has healthcare simulation experience in both hospital-based and academia settings since 2014. Prior to working in healthcare simulation, she worked clinically as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in various inpatient and outpatient settings. Her experience includes managing the center’s staff and daily operations, assisting facilitators and program directors in the development of their simulation learner experiences, and one of the strategic advisors to the Executive Director of the Emory Nursing Learning Center.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in Healthcare Management. She is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist® (CHSOS®) through The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Kim Fugate - SIM
Senior Simulation Operations Specialist
Kim Fugate - SIM

Kim Fugate is the Senior Simulation Operations Specialist for the Emory University Nursing Learning Center. In this role, Kim partners with Simulation Technicians, Simulation Nurse Educators, and faculty to develop, implement, operate, and participate in simulation activities to guarantee a high quality, safe, and consistent simulation experience in the ENLC. Kim assists in the management of the infrastructure to ensure student privacy, operational efficiency, limited downtime, and that learning objectives are met. She troubleshoots and resolves any technical and logistical issues; operates simulation capture system to ensure activities are videotaped. Provides first level repairs and preventative maintenance to simulation resources; ensures equipment and supplies are used and maintained properly. Plans, develops, and manufactures materials and techniques for executing moulage and task trainers in collaboration with key players to enhance the overall realism of the simulation activity.

Kim has been working in simulation for over 18 years at Emory University. Originally working with the Dept of Surgery E*STAR lab before moving to the School of Medicine Simulation lab where she served as Associate Director of ExCEL for the last 14 years. She is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) and is a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. She is also an AHA certified instructor in both BLS and ACLS.

Shannah Lowe - SIM
Senior Director, Simulation-Based and Clinical Education
Shannah Lowe - SIM

Dr. Lowe has 15 years of healthcare experience in clinical practice setting in direct patient care and nursing education. Previous roles include bedside Registered Nurse, Relief Charge Nurse, Unit educator, Shift Nurse Manger in the inpatient setting. Most recently, she was the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Emory University Hospital Neuroscience inpatient unit. She was one of the first DEU Clinical Instructor for NHWSN DEU clinical rotation. In 2017 Dr. Lowe formally accepted a role as a part time Clinical Instructor at the School of Nursing. Since that time, she has served in the capacity as Course Coordinator and course lecturer in the pre-licensure program.

In her current role, Dr. Lowe supervises, coaches, develops, and mentors Clinical Instructors instructing students in the clinical setting or simulation lab. She collaborates with our clinical partners, faculty and students to ensure the highest quality simulation-based learning activities are integrated and implemented across the prelicensure and post-licensure programs; and designs, delivers, and evaluates innovative, evidence-based simulation-based learning for nursing and interprofessional experiences.

She has a Doctoral degree in Nursing Practice, a master’s in science nursing Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist Track. She is also a board-certified Clinical Nurse Specialist by AACN.

Sandra Rosedale - SIM
Simulation Nurse Educator
Sandra Rosedale - SIM

Sandra Rosedale comes to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University with over 40 years of nursing experience. She has held a variety of roles in home care, inpatient, long-term care, assisted living and academia. Sandra is a Geriatric Clinical Nurse specialist and has always had a passion for working with the elderly. She received her BSN and MSN degrees from the University of California, San Francisco. During her academic career she has taught Fundamentals, Health Assessment, Patho/Pharmacology, Med Surg 1 and 2, Community Health, Aging Adult, and Leadership. Most of the courses had a lab component that also involved simulation. Sandra has over 15 years of simulation experience and finds it rewarding and a great safe place for the students to practice their nursing skills.

Sandra is originally from the upper Peninsula of Michigan. She has lived in Michigan, California, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. She has two sons and three grandchildren.

Kevin Paproski - SIM
Senior Simulation Technician
Kevin Paproski - SIM

Kevin Paproski is Senior Simulation Technician for the Simulation Program at the Emory Nursing Learning Center. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Health Services at Augusta University. His coursework gave him an overview of the U.S. healthcare system and provided the knowledge and skill development in healthcare delivery, leadership, cultural competency, bioethics, research and innovation. While at Augusta University, he completed a three-year internship at the Interdisciplinary Simulation Center. During his time at the center, he refined his interprofessional skills and technical knowledge of healthcare simulation as well as inventory management. The belief that simulation not only improves the skills and knowledge of students, but the quality of care that patients will receive is what drives Kevin to provide excellent service.

Adam Ead - SIM
Simulation Technician
Adam Ead - SIM

Adam Ead is the latest member to join the Simulation Team as a Simulation Technician at Emory University’s Nursing Learning Center (ENLC). Prior to arriving to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHW SON), Adam trained for a year in Medical Simulation at the Georgia Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM-GA), and subsequently worked for Northside Hospital’s (Atlanta Campus) Simulation Center for Clinical Excellence following graduation. Adam comes to Emory University’s NHW SON with nearly two years of experience in Medical Simulation. 

Adam completed his undergraduate education at Georgia State University (GSU) where he acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, then graduated from the same university with a Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Non-Thesis Track) shortly after. Following his time at GSU, Adam completed a Master of Science in Biomedical Science from PCOM-GA, choosing to concentrate in Medical Simulation, and earned a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Organizational Developmental Leadership (ODL) while in the program.

In complement to his time in Medical Simulation, Adam has work experience as a Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Instructor at GSU’s Parker H. Petit Science Center, served as a Graduate Research Student under the supervision of Senior Department Faculty Members of GSU’s Department of Biology, and volunteered for hundreds of hours in the hospital setting at Northside Hospital (Forsyth Campus). Adam is passionate about interprofessional collaboration and helping Healthcare Professionals in addition to students, acquire key clinical skills, where invaluable lessons are learned in a domain where mistakes do not lead to real life, adverse medical outcomes for patients.

Charlena Adams - SIM
Simulation Technician
Charlena Adams - SIM

Charlena Adams is a Simulation Technician for the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. She graduated from Clayton State University with an Associate Degree in Information Technology. She has more than two decades of clinical experience in various clinical settings including: inpatient, outpatient, critical care, hospice, long-term care, memory care, ambulatory care setting, inpatient dialysis, family medicine, gastro, geriatric, cardiologist, and internal medicine. She has many years of technical experience in troubleshooting, managing and storing data, maintaining computerized records and updating software, networks and servers. She is currently a Registered Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, Certified Nursing Assistant, and a Certified Services Communications Specialist. She is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Health Informatics.

Charita Gooden - SIM
Simulation Technician
Charita Gooden - SIM

Charita Gooden has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry from Voorhees University. She also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing graduating with honors Summa Cum Laude from South Carolina State University. She comes to us from Emory Healthcare where she worked since 2007 – starting as a Unit Clerk and leaving as a Registered Certified Medical Assistant. Throughout her career, Charita has worked in many areas and specialties such as Urology, Gynecology, Medical Surgery, Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Vascular Surgery, Dialysis, and Cardiology.

Charita is a native of South Carolina and is a member of Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority Inc. She is excited to be a team member at Emory University Nursing Learning Center as a Simulation Technician and knows her skills and experience in healthcare will give her the ability to help our nursing students.

Ciara Gordon - SIM
Simulation Technician
Ciara Gordon - SIM

Ciara Gordon serves as a Simulation Technician at Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, boasting a strong academic background with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, specializing in Healthcare Administration from Albany State University, and a Master of Science in Information Technology. Ciara is also a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Her professional journey is marked by diverse roles, including Systems Engineer, Engineering Teacher, and Audio/Visual Instructor.

Ciara's immersion in the world of simulation technology stems from her engineering experience, which honed her technical prowess and problem-solving acumen. Additionally, her tenure as an Audio/Visual Teacher deepened her grasp of instructional technology. In her current role, she is committed to excelling in the maintenance and optimization of simulation equipment, crafting immersive learning scenarios, and delivering technical support to enrich educational encounters. Her fervent dedication lies in leveraging technology to transform education, and she is unwaveringly committed to propelling the evolution of simulation technology.

Vanity Moore - SIM
Simulation Tech
Vanity Moore - SIM

Vanity Moore is a Simulation tech at Emory Nursing Learning Center. She comes to us with 15 years of clinical healthcare experience out of San Diego, California. She graduated from San Diego City College with an associate in health science and child development. She is currently a License Practical Nurse and has experience as a laboratory technician in Oncology.

Vanity is excited to join the university to help impact the future of simulation which benefits our future healthcare professionals. She is an advocate for the simulation experience because it aided her while in school. She became confident in her skills which allowed her to enter the field of nursing with tenacity. She joins us with determination to pay it forward.

Beth Ann Swan - SIM
Beth Ann
Charles F. and Peggy Evans Distinguished Endowed Professor for Simulation and Innovation
Beth Ann Swan - SIM

Dr. Beth Ann Swan is a Professor, Clinical Track, Associate Dean for Education, and Executive Director of the Emory Learning Nursing Center at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University. Dr. Swan is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, past president of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN), and a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow. She is nationally and internationally known for her research in health care and nursing. She was an early leader in exploring the impact of changing health care delivery models on outcomes of care and has been a continuous advocate for the promotion of promoting ambulatory and primary care. Read more about Dr. Swan here.