Nursing student checking pulse

Nursing Simulation Laboratory

College of DuPage’s Nursing Simulation Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility designed to give students the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning in a wide variety of patient care experiences to help them strengthen clinical practice, critical thinking, decision making and teamwork skills.

One of the most comprehensive simulation labs in the state, the Nursing Simulation Laboratory is comprised of several learning environments including a four-bed simulation hospital, two simulation lab classrooms, an open lab for student practice, and a simulation center that replicates clinic, long-term care and home health care settings. These spaces help train more than 300 students each semester who are enrolled in the College’s nursing program.  

Simulation Center

The Simulation Center is comprised of several separate learning areas, replicating a long-term care or rehab facility and home health care setting complete with a kitchen, bathroom and living area. The Center also houses a nursing station, debriefing room and control room.

Some simulations in the Center are run similarly to those in the simulation hospital with instructors monitoring students from a control room as they care for computerized manikins.

Because the Simulation Center involves a wider range of nursing practices that are often difficult to implement using a manikin, students engage in simulations that use standardized patients or students acting as their patients. This allows students to replicate clinical practices that involve assisting patients in home care settings, to executing simple daily tasks and practicing skills for inpatient care.  

Simulation Hospital

The Simulation Hospital offers students the chance to learn what it’s like to work in a real-world hospital setting. The Hospital is equipped with a nurse’s station, four hospital rooms, two control rooms and a debriefing room for students to use before and after their simulations.

Each of the four rooms in the hospital contains a state-of-the-art computerized manikin, including one that simulates labor and delivery. Manikins range in age from newborn to adult and represent a diverse range of ethnic and racial backgrounds. These manikins simulate breathing, heart tones, bowel sounds, and palpable pulses and are each equipped with a monitor that can display EKG, pulse oximeter, blood pressure, arterial wave forms, anesthetic gases and other critical patient data.

All rooms are also outfitted with fully functioning head walls and an electronic medical record system that students use to track their patients—just like in a real hospital.

In the main area of the Simulation Hospital, students will also get a chance to work with a real Pyxis system, an automated medication dispensing unit found in many hospitals but rare in community college training facilities.

Sessions in the Simulation Hospital are kept small so that all students get a chance to engage in hands-on training through the simulation modules. During the school week there are several six-hour shifts in the simulation hospital, during which students interact in teams of two with the computerized manikins.

The Simulation Hospital runs more than 30 different simulations that ask students to do everything from basic care like administering patient medication to managing serious high-risk situations like cardiac arrest. Simulations are run through control rooms that allow instructors to direct and evaluate student performance without actually having to be at the bedside.

Simulation sessions can be videotaped and reviewed in the debriefing room, offering students the chance to examine their performance and get feedback from instructors on what they did well and where they can improve.

While nursing students largely engage in simulations within their program, College of DuPage also runs award-winning, multi-department simulations that bring together students from the College’s EMT, Nursing, Computed Tomography, Surgical Technology, Nuclear Medicine, and Respiratory Care programs, as well as members of the College’s Police Department and Homeland Security Training Institute. These simulations help students experience what it will be like to work in a real-world setting that will require them to collaborate and coordinate efforts for patient care with many other departments. 

Lab Classrooms

Nursing students at College of DuPage take their lab courses in one of two simulation classrooms, allowing them the chance to learn new skills and immediately put them into practice.

Each of the two simulation classrooms is equipped with six hospital beds and have six of the latest model of the cutting-edge Laerdal© manikins on the market, in both infant and adult varieties. In some courses, students will also practice their new skills on each other in a simulated patient care setting.

Laboratory classrooms are limited in size to ensure that students get the attention and experience they need to effectively master critical nursing skills.

Classes are capped at 16 students, but are generally much smaller, averaging about eight students each session. Lab classes taken in the simulation classrooms last from 3-4 hours each, during which students are taught new skills by instructors and then given a chance to practice them on the simulation manikins or each other.  

Nursing Skills Lab

The Nursing Skills Lab simulates a six-bed hospital setting where students can independently practice clinical nursing skills that are acquired in the lab portion of their nursing courses. Each station is equipped with a state-of-the-art Laerdal manikin, wall-mounted workstation with scanning capabilities, simulated hospital headwall, locked sharps container and Alaris infusion pump.

The Skills Lab also features an infant station where students can practice neonatal assessments. Lab Assistants are available for one-on-one assistance upon request.

Spring 2024 Skills Lab Hours

  • Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Please check the Blackboard Organizations page for updates and closures.

If you have any questions regarding the skills lab or need additional assistance, email

The lab is open and equipped for your ongoing nursing proficiency practice needs. You will perform simulated practice until you have mastered the skill/procedure to the point where you can pass your return demonstration and safely perform the skill/procedure in the clinical setting. In order to allow active learning to take place, certain policies regarding the lab have been established and must be observed by all.

Please review the Code of Conduct prior to utilizing the lab.

  1. Students should bring the supplies issued to skills lab when practicing and to your lab classes.
  2. Hours will be posted in the lab, explained to you in your lab classes and posted on the student portal and nursing lab website. Lab hours are continually evaluated; if any changes are necessary, you will be notified by these means.
  3. Personal belongings (i.e. coats and books) are not lab staff responsibility. Please make sure that they are neatly placed out of the way for the consideration of other students.
  4. No eating in the skills lab and only covered drinks allowed. When taking a break outside the lab, use the waste containers provided.
  5. If any of the manikins or equipment is not working properly, report it immediately to the lab staff so that it may be repaired. Report any and all incidents or malfunctions to the lab staff. Students should not remove manikins from the beds. Please ask for assistance.
  6. Lab staff members are available for assistance as needed during independent study/practice. Skill performance will be evaluated by faculty.
  7. After practicing skills, straighten unit/area so it is ready for the next student. Chairs should be replaced under the tables when leaving the area. Pick up any waste materials observed on the floor and place in trash containers. Return any lab issued supplies or equipment to designated location; example - needle and syringes to syringe box in designated areas. Wipe up all spills on floors. Keep beds in appropriate position with linens straightened before leaving and side rails in upright position. Turn off all over bed lights.
  8. No iodine and/or pens around the manikins.
  9. The lab must maintain a study atmosphere; therefore, children and visitors are NOT allowed.

*Please note: Skills Lab hours may change during the course of a semester as the Skills Lab may be utilized for Nursing Lab Class overflow. Students are encouraged to check the posted lab hours which can be found outside the Skills Lab in the Health and Science Center (HSC), Room 2142.

If you require one-on-one assistance, contact a Lab Assistant to set up an appointment.

Contact Information

Nursing Lab Assistant Office
Health and Science Center (HSC), Room 2142
(630) 942-2569

Simulation Hospital
Health and Science Center (HSC), Room 2145
(630) 942-2539

Simulation Center
Health and Science Center (HSC), Room 2136
(630) 942-4258

Melissa Ericson, Nursing Simulation and Lab Manager
(630) 942-3938