Simulation Lab

The nursing lab at UBCO is a dynamic, exciting place for students to learn and master many different skills throughout the program.

A group of hospital beds in a UBCO nursing simulation lab.


The program is a mandatory element for years 1 – 4.  Over 360 students visit the lab weekly.  They come to the space for seminars, lab classes, human patient simulations, and open lab practice.  We pride ourselves in providing a sophisticated, realistic context that prepares our students to become safe, compassionate professionals.

Our program offers:

  • Dedicated lab teachers – that connect lab seminar classes with lab content
  • standardized lab content and skills teaching
  • skills stations, that provide many critical thinking questions for the students

Years 1 and 2

A simulation lab mannequinYears one and two of the program are lead by intentional learning. Each week has a theme and the skills associated with that theme. For example, one week in the theory class, the focus is on cardiovascular assessment with the exemplar of heart failure and in the lab, we have skills related to IV management, fluid and electrolyte issues, and a simulation with a patient who requires furosemide IV.

The simulation lab uses James Lang’s concept of ‘interleaving’ (the practice of studying subjects in mixed, recursive order, as opposed to “blocked”  learning in which students study one topic at a time in depth before moving on to the next). An example of this is, we teach physical assessment in Year 1 starting with a skeleton (in the context of the elderly). In Year 2, the lab on assessment delves deeper into the heart sounds and focused assessments within the acute care context.

Year 3

A simulation lab mannequin in a hospital bed.In Year 3, term one in the lab, we teach the most complex skills.  Focus is on skill repetition, critical thinking and how the equipment connects to other clinical skills that they have previously experienced. The students learn almost all the skills they would need for entry to practice.

Year 4

In Year 4, our students come back one last time to the lab and practice their skills one day, and then complete a four-bed simulation the next day in groups of 4.