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Second Annual Debra L. Spunt Lecture Set

Second Annual Debra L. Spunt Lecture Set

Janet Grady, DrPH, RN, Discusses Simulation and Learning on Saturday, September 20 at National League for Nursing 2008 Education Summit


New York, NY – September 4, 2008 – Simulation in nursing education has grown exponentially in terms of its integration into curricula in all types of nursing programs. But, just how effective is simulation as a teaching/learning tool? What is the evidence to support best practices in evaluating learning by simulation? And what gaps in knowledge still exist as nurse educators seek to create the best simulation-enhanced learning environments to prepare graduates for clinical practice?

Janet Grady, DrPH, RN, will address these challenges and concerns in her presentation this month at the second annual Debra L. Spunt Lecture during the National League for Nursing 2008 Education Summit. The conference, drawing almost 2,000 faculty and administrators from nursing programs across the United States, will take place Wednesday, September 17 to Saturday, September 20 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Grady’s talk, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Learning by Simulation: How Far Have We Come and Where Do We Need to Go?, scheduled for the morning of Saturday, September 20, will explore:

  • Strategies to measure the effectiveness of simulation and its impact on student learning
  • Outcome measures used in recent investigations and the relationship of these to learning objectives
  • Evidence from empirical studies that facilitate the identification of gaps in knowledge

Dr. Grady is associate professor and director of the Nursing Program at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and principal investigator on Nursing Telehealth Applications Initiative, a research project sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. She was a collaborator on the 2004-‘05 International Telenursing Role Survey and is currently co-chairing the Telehealth Nursing Special Interest Group of the American Telemedicine Association. A member of the NLN Task Group on Curriculum Innovation, Dr. Grady’s research focuses on the use of technology to address the nursing shortage and enhance nursing education. She earned bachelor’s degrees in nursing and education from the University of Pittsburgh, where she also completed her master’s in nursing. Her doctorate in health services administration was completed at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Grady is among the 24 fellows who will be inducted into the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education at this year’s Education Summit.

The Debra L. Spunt Lecture honors the lifelong contributions to excellence in nursing education, in particular leadership in the design, development, and implementation of simulation in nursing education of one outstanding colleague. In establishing the lectureship last year with funding from Laerdal Medical Corporation, the NLN lauded the late Debra L. Spunt, DNP, MS, RN, FAAN as a “symbol of leadership and a true inspiration.”

“Her unflagging commitment and dedication to excellence in nursing education distinguished her as a teacher’s teacher,” said Dr. Beverly Malone, CEO of the NLN, in an announcement to the NLN Board of Governors in 2007.

Nationally and internationally recognized for her knowledge, expertise, and leadership in clinical simulation, especially the use of computerized patient simulators via clinical case scenarios to educate nurses and other health care providers, Dr. Spunt was responsible for the design, administration, and management of the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s 28 clinical simulation laboratories, considered the preeminent nursing student learning labs in the world. In this role, she collaborated with faculty on the integration of simulation into the nursing curriculum, and in doing so, helped prepare thousands of graduates to enter the field of nursing.

As a thoughtful participant in the plans for her legacy, Dr. Spunt created the Debra L. Spunt Clinical Simulation Practice and Research Endowment at the University of Maryland School of Nursing to support clinical simulation laboratory equipment.

Editors and reporters: For advance interview opportunities, or if you would like to attend the Spunt Lecture, please contact NLN chief communications officer Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376, During the week of the Education Summit, please contact Jane Calem Rosen, communications consultant to the NLN at 201-906-7339 or email

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its
27,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.