stan feature

Students meet their first patient

A revolutionary patient simulator better prepares nursing students for patient care.

Nursing students meet their first patient in one of their first nursing courses at the University of Tulsa.  His name is Stan and he comes to the classroom to have a basic heart and lung assessment.  Before graduating students have had a variety of clinical encounters with him and his family of patient simulators.  His family includes his wife, Ida, a 5 year old son, and a newborn.  Limitations in hospital clinical space literally bring the hospital to the classroom so students can learn by doing.  A few of the clinical problems/issues Stan (or one of his family members) experience are surgery, respiratory failure, chemotherapy, meningitis, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and bioterrorist attack.  Additionally, he also suffers several sports related injuries that require ATRG and EXSS student intervention.

Those unfamiliar with patient simulators may wonder what a simulator is.  Simulators are commonly used in the education of students in health care related fields.  They function like a real person with the anatomical operations of an actual human body.  For instance, Stan has a pulse and blood pressure, mimics normal breathing, sweats, makes urine, and talks.  He can be catheterized, suctioned, have IV's and injections administered, and have chest tubes inserted.  It is just like caring for a real person.

Although students are initially hesitant about caring for Stan they quickly adapt and apply their classroom knowledge to the situation or crisis Stan and his family are experiencing.  Stan can simulate a patient of any age, culture or gender enabling students to learn and apply a range of clinical skills.  Critical thinking and clinical judgment are enhanced with each interaction.  Through the software students learn how to assess laboratory and physiologic data, observe changes in patient status following medication administration, and follow the physiologic changes with disease progression.  Following the simulation experience students are able to evaluate their performance and discuss what could or should have been done differently.  They gain experience in a crisis without dealing with a real crisis.

The study of nursing at The University of Tulsa is a team effort that has progressed far beyond the textbook. The TU nursing team includes a diverse group of enthusiastic students and caring instructors and advisors. This team employs the latest in teaching methods, simulation and computer technology and has established ties with three major metropolitan medical centers and an array of community health care agencies.

The School of Nursing’s undergraduate curriculum leads to the bachelor of science degree in nursing and prepares graduates for the Registered Nurse licensure examination. Employers in a variety of health care settings throughout the country applaud our graduates for their nursing knowledge and skills.

Nursing Terminal Obectives align with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) such that the curriculum prepares students to achieve the outcomes of the nursing education unit, including safe practice in contemporary health care environments.  Student learning outcomes are used to organize the curriculum, guide the delivery of instruction, direct learning activities, and evaluate student progress.  Evaluation methodologies are varied, reflect established professional and practice competencies, and measure the achievement of student learning and program outcomes.  The systematic plan for evaluation emphasizes the ongoing assessment of evaluation of the student learning and program outcomes of the nursing unit and ACEN standards.

Program Goals

  1. Value the dignity and worth of humans by practicing legally and ethically in all aspects of nursing.
  2. Empower individuals, families, and communities by promoting the welfare of local, state, and national health through nursing activities
  3. Utilize critical thinking, independent judgment, leadership skills, and communication skills to promote achievement of optimal health.
  4. Apply theoretical and empirical knowledge from the humanities, physical, and behavioral sciences while committing to lifelong learning and ongoing professional development.

Terminal (Learning) Objectives

Students who complete the undergraduate program in Nursing will demonstrate achievement of competencies appropriate to role preparation.  Specifically, students will be able to: (Learning Outcomes)

  1. Value the dignity and worth of humans, acknowledging biopsychosocial and cultural stimuli that influence adaption.
  2. Utilize adaption theory in decision making and assisting individuals, families, and communities to achieve their maximum level of adaption.
  3. Use problem solving skills, critical thinking, independent judgment and continual evaluation to improve nursing care.
  4. Evaluate and utilize research, and theoretical and empirical knowledge from the humanities and physical and behavioral sciences in nursing practice.
  5. Utilize leadership skills, accepting responsibility and being accountable for choice of nursing interventions to promote adaptation.
  6. Collaborate with colleagues on the interdisciplinary health team and serve as an advocate to promote health and welfare of clients through the political and professional process.
  7. Participate in identifying local, state, and national health needs and effective changes to improve health care.
  8. Pursue further development of self and the profession in order to promote quality health care.

Curriculum and Unique Features

There is an art and science to nursing but as an integral component of the health care industry nurses cannot overlook the business component.  Students learn to care for the physical and psychological patient needs with attention to the business component of that care.  The School of Nursing's position in the College of Business gives TU nursing students a distinct advantage.  Early in their education they are exposed to the basics of health care as a business.  The nursing curriculum is an integrated curriculum with central concepts running from sophomore to senior years.  The intensive clinical and classroom work also includes communication and cultural diversity components that are essential in today's world.

The School of Nursing employs the Roy Adaptation Model developed by Sister Callista Roy.  The Roy model helps students understand patient behaviors and the stimuli that affect the various behaviors.  Opportunities for study abroad, such as International Nursing and Technology, allow students to compare health care in other countries.  The nursing program builds on today's technology savvy students by encouraging the use of eBooks and downloading clinical software to phones and personal computers.  Faculty post information on HARVEY, the university's online course management system.


In the School of Nursing, there is no substitute for an academically nurturing environment. Our students find our remarkable student-teacher ratio a decided advantage that promotes interaction among students and faculty. The personal learning experience in the School of Nursing is enhanced further by an on-campus 11-bed skills laboratory. Located in Chapman Hall, the skills lab affords student opportunities to practice what they have learned in the classroom in a setting that simulates the health care problems they will face in the real world. After students are thoroughly educated in basic skills, they continue their clinical experience in Tulsa's local hospitals. These hospitals have bed capacities ranging from 100 to 500.

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