The Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center (DNSC)

Clinical skills—powered by human connection.

Research tells us that we have three minutes to connect with a patient. Mannequins alone won’t afford us that opportunity. That’s why the state-of-the-art Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center uniquely blends sophisticated hospital-grade equipment with "standardized patient" human actors. These talented performers create real-life scenarios you'll encounter as a nurse, replicating everything from sinus infections to emotional life-and-death situations.

Each week, you'll join fellow nursing students at our simulation center, honing clinical competencies in an environment that precisely resembles your future work. You'll refine skills like compassion, cultural sensitivity and composure under pressure. And you'll do it all in a safe, supportive environment where faculty offer immediate feedback, allowing time to reflect on your simulation experience.

The result: our nursing students step into their careers well prepared to become confident healthcare leaders.

faculty members teaching in clinical skills classroom Eight-Bed Clinical Skills Classroom

Students practice connecting with patients, both verbally and through body language, while learning cultural sensitivity, decision-making and other clinical skills.

faculty and student treating patient in primary care exam room Six Primary Care Exam Rooms

In our primary care exam rooms, students practice everything from taking vital signs to administering I.V. fluids and performing head-to-toe exams.

student treating patient in acute care hospital room Three Acute-Care Hospital Rooms

Students learn how to react quickly and efficiently to treat time-sensitive illnesses and injuries.

faculty and students discussing in briefing room Three Debriefing Rooms

Using videotaped debriefs of simulation lab sessions, professors talk with students about how things went, offering valuable feedback.

Simulation Center Faculty and Staff

Jonathan Mack, PhD, RN-BC, NP

Associate Professor
Director, Innovative Learning Services
Health Care and Nursing Informatics Programs
(619) 260-4688

Lisa Sheehan, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC

Clinical Associate Professor
Coordinator for the Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center, Advance Practice Programs 
(619) 260-4741

Deanna Johnston, PhD, RN, CNS

Clinical Associate Professor
Coordinator for the Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center, Master's Entry Program
(619) 260-4230

David Haigh, MA, MS

Senior Manager for Simulation and Innovative Learning
(619) 260-4002

Christine Kelly, MS

Simulation Specialist and Standardized Patient Coordinator
(619) 260-2710

Tom Alva

Executive Assistant
(619) 260-4746

Open Lab Days and Times


Spring MEPN Open Lab Days
Spring MEPN Open Lab Days
Coming Soon  


Spring ARPN Open Lab Days/Times
Spring ARPN Open Lab Days/Times
Monday February 22, 2021 1 PM to 4 PM Sign-Up Here

Contact Us

University of San Diego
Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science
Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

Phone: (619) 260-4746
Fax: (619) 260-7480


The Society for Simulation in Healthcare has conferred upon the Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center (DNSC) for having demonstrated the standards set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs in the areas of Assessment the designation of SSH Accreditation.

society for simulation in health care, accredited program assessment