Colorado State University - Pueblo to be U.S. pilot site for nursing simulation technology

Colorado State University - Pueblo to be U.S. pilot site for nursing simulation technology

PUEBLO, CO - The Department of Nursing at Colorado State University-Pueblo will become the lone pilot site in the United States for cutting edge simulation equipment produced by an Australian-based company, Mask ED, which uses "Hollywood style" masks to create characters used in nurse education. Australian Dr Kerry Reid-Searl, inventor of the equipment and founder of Mask ED, will be on campus later this month to provide training to faculty and demonstrations to interested individuals of a collection of male and female simulation body parts.

Assistant Professor of Nursing JoAnn Crownover was introduced to Reid-Searl and the Mask Ed products during an international simulation leadership training workshop in 2010. Searl’s company, Mask ED, offers the latest in simulation, including mask, body torso, props, and repair kit that comes complete with curriculum integration ideas for use by nursing educators during simulation exercises. The philosophy behind the product is the “educator behind the mask” which allows the instructor to give immediate reactions to the students as the exercise is occurring. The male and female character masks and torsos can be worn by instructors both in the classroom and laboratory settings. One of the characters, for example, is Cyril Smith, a retired butcher, who knows anatomy and physiology well and teaches all about anatomy. His granddaughter is in nursing school, so he reads her text books and has developed a fascination with health, injury, and illness.

As a result of Crownover’s efforts, CSU-Pueblo will be the only U.S. institution utilizing the products, joining several schools in Australia, who also are piloting the props.
On Jan. 25, Searl and her “characters” will attend morning classes. From 2-5 p.m., she will provide an introduction to the nursing faculty and follow up on the 26th with additional training on proper cleaning and storage of the equipment.  From 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 25, local health care representatives as well as members of the CSU-Pueblo Nursing Advisory Board will have the opportunity to meet the inventor of the new simulation technology and to see just what applications the equipment will have in the nursing curriculum in Technology 222.
Crownover said while simulation originated in the aviation industry and has been used by the military for many years, high fidelity simulation is relatively new in nursing.  Fidelity of simulation refers to how close a simulation resembles reality.  Realistic simulation experiences allow the student nurse to interact with the simulated patient as though it was a real patient, thus providing nursing care in a safe learning environment. 

The pilot project is timely, Crownover said, as the National Collegiate State Boards of Nursing recently commissioned a study to determine how simulation affects students and what amount of simulation in a curriculum is most effective.

For additional information on the technology or the schedule of activities, contact Crownover at or 719-549-2406.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.