Edson College Downtown

About Edson College

Grace Center's Simulation Lab

The Grace Center for Innovation in Nursing Education is located in the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus Mercado Complex and is Accredited by the Society of Simulation in Healthcare for Teaching and Education. As part of the Edson family gift, the naming of the Grace Center honors Grace Converse, a former nurse and the mother of philanthropist Charlene Edson.

The goals of the Grace Center align with the Edson Values and ASU Charter to propel diverse students and faculty to success through innovative scholarship, research, and facilitation of experiential learning in state-of-the-art facilities using evidenced-based curricular design to improve the health and safety of the communities we serve. The team achieves these goals by operationalizing the vision statement, “Knowledge & Action Join as One,” through expansive technology and resources that provide learners of all levels from pre-licensure, master's, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs with psychologically safe environments to develop capacities in clinical decision-making and reflective practice skills.

Experiential learning includes hands-on clinical skills, deliberate practice, and high-fidelity simulation, an evidenced-based active learning education strategy. Students develop competence in critical thinking, clinical reasoning, team skills, communication and safe practice through dynamic simulated patient encounters with increasing complexity using fully integrated informatics in various healthcare settings. Employing high-fidelity manikins, medical and patient care equipment, and supplies creates authentic healthcare situations, supports the curricula and facilitates student achievement of the expected program outcomes. At the Grace Center, experiential learning strategies are facilitated by experienced faculty who are clinical experts and have developed specialized simulation expertise.

Additionally, interprofessional education opportunities are offered each semester using the standards of best practice (IPEC) among nursing, speech and hearing, social work and nutrition participants that enhance situational learning as part of the health care team.

The Grace Center houses nine inpatient simulation suites, each including an inpatient room, debriefing room, control room, materials management (storeroom) and areas for moulage. Simulationists engage learners across the lifespan with over 100 individually crafted scenarios. Adjacent space includes six interchangeable skills labs, six clinical suites, six telehealth/consultation rooms, a 16-bed health assessment lab and a home-based care apartment. There are also student common areas with study rooms and a 15-seat computer classroom.

A second simulation center is maintained by Edson College at the ASU Health Futures Center (HFC), adjacent to the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ. The Simulation Center at HFC contains a complement of environments, including six in-patient hospital suites, an apartment, two labs and a comprehensive standardized patient (SP) suite. The adjoining collaborative interprofessional space for innovation and research promotes the interactive sharing of ideas for health care advancement and comprehensive approaches to simulation as both pedagogy and research. The development of a dedicated virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) space will advance emerging technology that enhances further clinical experiences for students and promotes a stream of scholarship in the area.

Currently, the students from the distributed ASU campuses (Lake Havasu, West and Polytechnic) come to the Grace Center or HFC for lab and simulation experiences. However, this summer, the college received funding to outfit a mobile simulation van that will be deployed to the various campuses throughout the semester so students will not have to travel to a central location for their simulation experiences. 


The Grace Center, formerly the Simulation and Learning Resources Program, began on the Tempe campus in the basement of the nursing building with two TVs hooked up to a camera and a Laerdal Sim Man. It began as an optional teaching modality until ASU moved all health care programs to the DPC in 2007, where simulation was embedded in each clinical course of the curriculum. In 2016, with the evidence of the NCSBN landmark study and curricular revision of the prelicensure program to a concept-based approach, 12 credits were dedicated to experiential learning in a graded course vs. the pass/fail grading of the former clinical courses.

Constructed in 1989, the Mercado project was supported with the first-ever Federal Urban Development Action Grant in Phoenix. Arizona State University opened its College of Extended Education in the Mercado and purchased it for $8.8 million in 1999.




ASU Simulation In The News: News Channel 3


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Map | Locating the Grace Center

Below is a map to get to the Grace Center, which is located in the downtown Mercado building.