Sentinel City® Delivers the Quality Content Nursing Students Need

In 20 years of teaching nursing, Cindy Drenning, BSN, MSN, CRNP, has witnessed changes both in nursing programs and nursing students. Drenning is an Assistant Professor who has taught Community Health at St. Francis University, located in Loretto Pennsylvania, for 11 years.

“Students today want to get great value from the investment into their education,” she explains. “Lectures alone don’t satisfy their expectations for learning. They are looking for new ways to relate what they experience in the classroom with the real world.”

Another challenge for Drenning is finding clinical placements in “true” community health environments. “The cases within Sentinel City are perfectly relevant to community health and public health,” she explains. “I can tie the scenarios to those areas because they teach students about vulnerable populations, urgencies and disasters, and global health issues.” Drenning reinforces the assignments with in-class discussion and online materials, in addition to the resources provided through Sentinel U’s solutions.

The cases within Sentinel City® are perfectly relevant to community health and public health. The resources really represent what we talk about in class, even better than the placements we have been able to provide.

Delivering Desired Educational Outcomes

Drenning thinks that the simulations help students directly apply the concepts presented in the community health textbook they use “because the resources really represent what we talk about in class, even better than the placements we have been able to provide.”

What do her students think? They have said that Community Assessment and the Family Support and Home Assessment with Care Plan assignments are “very realistic,” engaging and prime examples of how Sentinel City creates the connection between the classroom and clinical or hospital environments they have been training in and will encounter as nurses.

Meeting Program Requirements

Nursing students in the BSN program are required to have over 90 clinical hours to complete the Community Health Nursing program. Sentinel U’s simulations and scenarios are part of the curriculum for students in their senior year, in both the Professional Nursing Leadership/Management course as well as Community Health course. Drenning plans to account for all required hours with Sentinel City for practicum in the 2020 academic year, as part of modifying the program in response to COVID-19.

Saint Francis University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the U.S. Undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees as well as a minor in public health are offered through the School of Health Sciences and Education.

Curricula Requirements

Meeting students’ expectations for education quality Program requirements for 90 hours of clinical experience


  • Sentinel City Virtual Simulation
  • Sentinel U faculty resources
  • Family Support with Home Assessment and Care Plan assignment


  • Student feedback is positive
  • Students were able to achieve their clinical hours
  • Compelling use of Sentinel U virtual clinicals to meet program requirements