Robust Content and Great Customer Service Make the Decision Easy for University of Utah College of Nursing

When Stevi Gire, MS, RN, CHSE, was tasked with finding virtual simulations to augment the instruction students receive in the classroom and the school’s sim lab, she did what most people would do – searched the Internet for online learning resources, where she found Sentinel City® and Sentinel U.

Gire is a Clinical Instructor teaching in the RN pre-licensure program at the University of Utah College of Nursing. Her classroom typically is a simulation lab, an environment where she can fuel her passion as a nurse educator. But the academic world is transforming, driven both by a shift in public health policies and the need to solve long-standing issues including scarce clinical placement and the dwindling number of nurse educators.

Gire says that Sentinel U’s  products offer learners robust, consistent experiences. “If there wasn’t this option, it would be incumbent upon us as educators to develop case studies and other virtual learning resources that give students the experiences they need.”

Rich Portfolio of Assignments and Faculty Resources Turn Love at First Sight into a Relationship with Long-term Potential

“We loved Sentinel City the minute we saw it,” explains Gire. “The ability for the clinical faculty to customize assignments, the number of patients represented, and the fact that there is a virtual community setting convinced us to take the next step and get a demo.”

While first impressions were positive, the customer service offered during the sales process was key to convincing Gire and her colleagues that the Sentinel U  products were right for them. She was having difficulty with the logistics of inviting learners to access assignments. “They patiently answered the questions I had, even though my contact already had done so before,” she says. “Also, the faculty and student resources are wonderful and were a big part of the decision.” She also likes how easy it is for students to navigate the virtual environment, take screenshot “pictures” and make notes within the application on what they observe.

Gire points to the assignments within Sentinel City, the customizable grading rubrics that help ensure consistency, integration with the LMS, and the ability to access programs and resources at any time as other critical features which met the school’s criteria for including it within their program. That’s a high bar; the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) chose the University of Utah’s College of Nursing as its first recipient of the New Era for Academic Nursing Award.* “I’d absolutely recommend this to other programs. A lot of development work involved with teaching is already done. And the ability to track student participation as well as the fact that the simulations are used in accredited programs will be factors for continuing to use the product and give students experiences we can’t otherwise provide.”