Simulation Center


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Children’s Simulation Center St. Paul

Territorial Road Training Facility
2424 Territorial Road
St. Paul, MN 55114

Children’s Simulation Center Minneapolis

Michael and Judith Wright Family Pediatric Simulation Center
2525 Chicago Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Simulation Center

Children’s Simulation Center strives to make health care safer for children by advancing patient safety within our own walls and delivering hands-on training to teams throughout the region.

What is simulation?

Healthcare simulation is a technique to replace and amplify real experiences with guided ones to evoke a “real-to-life” experience without any risk to patients and their families. Simulation-based training creates structured activities that represent actual or potential situations in practice. Simulation specialists partner with clinical experts and educators to create flexible curriculum offerings to meet a variety of needs from procedural skill training to complex team simulations. Pediatric and neonatal scenarios are brought to life by our simulation technology specialists, reproducing a clinical environment that provides some of the same physical challenges and mental stressors one would have in a real event. The simulation training experience includes:

  • Introduction to simulation and equipment
  • Simulation exercises using task trainers, low or high-fidelity mannequins or patient actors that replicate real scenarios and real-time responses
  • Debriefing with or without video review of simulation

Our programs enhance knowledge, critical care skills, clinical decision-making, communication and teamwork — all in a supportive, risk-free environment. Simulations cover everything from pediatric and neonatal stabilization algorithms and procedures to teamwork and communication training. In addition we can use actors as parents to simulate the challenges of breaking unexpected news and comforting distraught parents. Simulations prepare novice nurses and resident doctors for practice and provide practicing experts with high-risk patient care challenges to hone their teamwork and communication skills.

What to expect

Simulation can be a transformative experience for practicing healthcare professionals. Working in a simulated environment allows teams the ability to make mistakes without fear of patient harm and to gain powerful insight into potential areas for improvement. Simulation helps professionals gain confidence in leadership skills and ability to work as part of a team caring for critically ill children. Best of all, participants of all levels leave with a wealth of new skills to enhance their practice.

We believe that everyone who participates in simulation is well trained, cares about doing their best, and wants to improve.  This basic assumption provides a rich experience that includes direct feedback and respectful dialogue.

Types of simulation experiences

Children’s offers a variety of simulation experiences to meet your team’s needs:

Our staff travels into clinical areas to provide teams with risk-free training in their own environments. Simulation allows teams to test new equipment, practice protocols, uncover latent safety errors and give new facilities a “trial run” before opening — all with zero risk to patients.

Children’s 5,000-square-foot off-site training center provides an ideal setting for longer and larger trainings.  Children’s on-site simulation center provides an exact replica of a critical care room with state-of-the—art video recording, debriefing space, and an adjacent conference center.

Our 40-foot, fully equipped mobile simulation center can replicate an emergency room, delivery room or other acute care setting and brings our most popular programs to teams across the Upper Midwest. Use these specifications to prepare your facility for a visit from our mobile simulation center.

Simulation course and service options

Core courses through the Simulation Center are customized for hands-on learning for your unit or department. Most courses offer continuing education credits (CME/CEU) and certificates will be provided upon completion of the training. Some courses and services include:

Pediatric Resuscitation and Trauma Team Training

This course puts PALS, ATLS, TNCC and Crisis Resource Management (CRM) into practice. It creates realistic and dynamic pediatric emergency situations that require health care personnel to apply their knowledge, including resuscitation and trauma care science, and their technical and clinical decision-making skills in their response as a team.


  • Recognize the unique healthcare needs and challenges of caring for pediatric patients and their families.
  • Work together with colleagues to improve team response.
  • Identify cognitive, technical, and behavioral skills necessary to execute appropriate responses to critical medical events.
  • Practice these skills in a realistic simulated environment that simulates the dynamic nature of the clinical setting in which each team practices.

Neonatal Resuscitation and Stabilization of the Critically Ill Neonate

Putting NRP and the S.T.A.B.L.E. program into practice, this course creates realistic, dynamic, neonatal emergency situations that require healthcare personnel to apply their knowledge of NRP and S.T.A.B.L.E. guidelines, while utilizing technical and clinical decision-making skills in their response as a team. This course is offered as a half day or full day program.


  • Recognize the unique healthcare needs and challenges of caring for neonatal patients and their families.
  • Work together with colleagues to improve team response.
  • Identify cognitive, technical, and behavioral skills necessary to execute appropriate responses to critical medical events.
  • Practice these skills in a realistic simulated environment that simulates the dynamic nature of the clinical setting in which each team practices.

Customized simulation services

We offer unique simulation services customized to meet the needs of your organization. Other simulation services may include but are not limited to:

  • Competency-based clinical skill training and evaluation
  • Institutional policy implementation
  • Test of new spaces, processes and equipment
  • Debriefing training

Meet the team

The simulation team at Children’s Minnesota includes top-notch leaders in the field. Our simulation specialists have decades of combined experience and have trained at some of the world’s foremost simulation science programs.

But like you, we began our careers on the front lines. We know the challenges you face in providing life-saving care to young patients. We applaud you for your commitment to lifelong learning and look forward to partnering with you.

Samreen Vora, MD, MHAM – Medical Director of Simulation

Dr. Vora has joined Children’s as the Medical Director of Simulation in January 2017. Dr. Vora received her medical degree from Chicago Medical School and completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at University of Illinois Peoria/OSF St. Francis Medical Center. During medical school, Dr. Vora also completed a Masters in Healthcare Administration and Management from Rosalind Franklin University. After completing residency, Dr. Vora completed a two year fellowship in Simulation and Medical Education incorporating a Masters in Health Professions Education at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Dr. Vora was part of the Emergency Medicine Simulation Fellowship Curriculum Development Taskforce and worked with a team to publish national curriculum guidelines for EM Simulation Fellowships. She has presented widely both regionally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of topics. Currently her areas of interest include simulation-based mastery learning and implicit bias in simulation education.

Karen Mathias, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC – Director of Simulation

Karen led the development of the first mobile simulation center in the country dedicated solely to pediatric and neonatal training. Karen was a co-investigator for a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grant targeting improved emergency department (ED) team performance and was subsequently named a Densford Clinical Scholar to further develop ED crisis resource management simulation curriculum. Karen received her master’s in pediatric critical care nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Karen has pursued specialized training from Stanford’s Center for Pediatric Education (CAPE) in simulation and debriefing and has completed her Certified Master TeamSTEPPS™ Trainer program at the University of Minnesota. She has presented widely both regionally and nationally.

Suzanne Nelson, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC – Simulation Specialist

Suzanne Nelson, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC, Simulation Specialist, an advanced practice nurse with a strong clinical background in pediatric and emergency nursing. Additionally, Suzanne has experience with curriculum development and was an item writer for a CPEN (Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse) review manual. Suzanne is an instructor for Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Pediatric Early Assessment & Recognition courses. Suzanne received her Pediatric Nurse Specialist degree from the University of Minnesota.

Kristin McCullough, MS, RN, ACCNS-N – Simulation Specialist

Kristin McCullough is an advanced practice nurse with extensive experience in neonatal critical care. As an educator and clinical nurse specialist, she has expertise in clinical integration, curriculum development and project management, with a specific interest in quality improvement and innovation. Kristin is co-author of several publications and was a member of the AACN Certification Corporation CNNS Neonatal Exam Development Committee. She received her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin and a Post-Masters Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of Minnesota.

Pete Haugen, EMT, BA – Simulation Tech

Pete Haugen is a graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth where he earned his BA in Environmental Science. Prior to becoming a Simulation Tech at Children’s Minnesota, Pete Haugen served as an EMT as a ski patroller as well as with a hyperbaric chamber at HCMC. Along with his health care experience, Pete has a passion for education and has worked teaching youth in schools as well as working as an outdoor educator instructing leadership building initiatives. As a simulation technician Pete provides technical support where he makes sure simulations are implemented in the most realistic manner as possible.

Aaron Simpson, K NREMT-E – Simulation Tech

Aaron received his National Registry Emergency Medical Technician certification from the Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio TX in 1990. Aaron is also currently serving as a reserve Soldier in the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Medical Treatment Sergeant. Aaron has had various positions in Emergency Medicine since 1991 and has worked as a military medical instructor for the Department of Defense teaching EMS courses and advanced medical skills for Military providers. Aaron has been working in medical simulation since 2012 and is a certified BLS, ACLS, and PHTLS instructor as well as a PALS provider.

Shannon Di Marco, BA – Administrative Assistant-Sr.

Shannon has her BA in Public Relations and English from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Professionally, Shannon has focused on adult learners and has a specific interest in new and emerging training techniques. Prior to coming to Children’s in September, 2017, Shannon managed a research laboratory under the direction of Dr. Carla M. Pugh at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The primary focus of this research was medical education and simulation; incorporating engineer techniques and sensor technology into simulators to create best practices to assess and train clinical personnel.

Jacob (Jake) Bauer, MSN, RN, CPN – Simulation Specialist

Jake Bauer, MSN, RN, CPN, Simulation Specialist, is a master’s prepared nursing educator with a strong background in curriculum development. Prior to working in simulation, he worked as a staff nurse in pediatrics  and also was an Instructor in Nursing for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He has taught various undergraduate nursing courses in both the clinical and academic settings. Courses he has facilitated or instructed in these settings have included public health, adult health, leadership, and pediatrics. Jake received his Bachelor’s Degree from Winona State University and a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty in Nursing Education from Walden University.