Clinical Simulation Center

Sim Lab 1

Focused, hands on practice help students to make sense out of what they see, hear, and perceive as they learn new skills to assess their patients or clients.


Sim Lab 4

We have a collaborative and mutually supportive relationship with local community health care providers, benefiting our students and the community.


Sim Lab 3

Students enter the healthcare field with a passion. We celebrate that passion by providing a high quality, state of the art learning environment in which students strive and succeed in becoming the healthcare professional they aspire to be.


Sim Lab 2

Students and faculty collaborate to learn and support each other, promoting ongoing development of the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.



"We exist because learning 'what to do' from a classroom lecture or a book is one thing.  Applying this knowledge when it counts is quite another.  We know it isn't easy, but it is possible.  We are here to aid the transition from book knowledge to timely implementation of this knowledge when it counts."

Barbara McCamish MSN, MPT, RN, CNL, CHSE
Manager, Clinical Simulation Center


The Clinical Simulation Center at Dominican serves as an interdisciplinary resource whose primary purpose is to provide our health care students with a high quality learning environment in which to explore the connections between the liberal arts, scientific knowledge and professional practice. The center supports the mission of the School of Health and Natural Sciences by using a variety of tools and resources to move our students from novices just entering the health care field, to qualified health care professionals ready to report to duty in their new professional roles.  In the Clinical Simulation Center, students actively practice and demonstrate skills in critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and personal integrity.


What is Simulation?

Simulation-based training has emerged as a key component of the patient safety movement and is increasingly being used to improve clinical and teamwork skills in a variety of environments. When applied properly, simulation-based training allows the opportunity to learn new skills, engage in deliberate practice, and receive focused and real-time feedback. The goal of simulation-based training is to enable the accelerated development of expertise, both in individual and team skills, by bridging the gap between classroom training and real-world clinical experiences in a relatively risk-free environment. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, July 2016)

Our Clinical Simulation Center is an engaging and active learning environment. Student may be using the center for a range of activities from structured simulation scenarios during specific courses, to deliberate practice of clinical skills with their clinical faculty, to social learning and mentoring during open lab hours.


Who We Serve

Our center serves all healthcare disciplines within the School of Health and Natural Sciences, including Nurses, Occupational Therapists, and Physician Assistants, as well as our local San Rafael Fire Department. We provide interprofessional education offerings so our students “learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” (World Health Organization 2010)



Facilities and Equipment

Our physical facilities include large health care labs, hospital-like simulation rooms, and a behavioral health examination room. Our high fidelity manikins, task trainers and standardized patients acting as patients, allow us to place our students in a variety of situations designed to promote achievement of the skills necessary to succeed. Our advanced audio visual capabilities provide us with the ability to record our students in action, allowing our students to actively reflect upon their learning experiences to facilitate continuous improvement.



Our faculty have conducted important research contributing to the body of work regarding health care simulation. In 2013 Dominican professors Dr. Barbara Ganley and Dr. Luanne Linnard-Palmer garnered accolades as 2013 Article of the Year from the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning with their work titled: “Academic Safety During Nursing Simulation: Perceptions of Nursing Students and Faculty." In addition, Professor Natalie Sweeney has worked to develop the Sweeney-Clark Simulation Performance Rubric, which has been used by many researchers to measure student progression from novice to expert performance during simulation experiences. Other faculty continue to present their work at simulation conferences across the country.