The SPN offers a range of courses for individuals working with simulated patients (SPs). The courses are likely to be of interest to simulation educators, technicians, SPs and to some extent learners involved in undergraduate and postgraduate training in all health professional disciplines. All courses are designed to take three hours expect for the foundational program which takes five hours.

The SPN modules are offered via the which is accredited by the State of California DCA Board of Registered Nursing as a Continuing Education Provider #CEP17566.

Course 1 – Foundation program in SP methodology


This course introduces the concept of SP methodology. It covers key terms, brief history of SP methodology, considers the scope of practice of SPs and their unique features. We also outline standards associated with SP methodology and share some of our favourite SP methodology resources.

RN CE Contact Hours: 5

Course 2 – Creating roles for SPs


This course introduces approaches to creating roles for SPs. There is no one right way to do this. However, some approaches seem better suited to some contexts than others. Templates are valuable for documenting roles. They prompt the authors for specific and usually critical information. We share approaches and templates.

RN CE Contact Hours: 3

Course 3 – SP program management

This course introduces some core facets of SP program management. It focuses on how to start an SP program and explores key benefits and challenges such as the fundamental characteristics of SPs and faculty, types of assignments, the organizational structure, recruitment and hiring, building a program team, financial systems and data management.

Course 4 – Training methods for SPs – role portrayal

This course introduces a systematic approach to training SPs in role portrayal of real patients. It draws on theories from the dramatic arts. The course also considers some of the practicalities training SPs.

Course 5 – Training methods for SPs – feedback

This course introduces concepts of feedback and training methods to support SPs in feedback and/or debriefing with learners.

Course 6 – The art and science of teaching and learning with SPs using audio-visual review

This course introduces the use of audio-visual review in simulation for supporting feedback processes intended to support learning. The role of the SP is explored in this process.

Course 7 – SPs in assessments

This course considers the role of SPs in performance-based assessments, with an emphasis on the process of standardization. Systematic and rigorous strategies are provided.

Course 8 – Developing hybrid simulations

This course introduces the concept of hybrid simulations. That is, the blending of at least two simulation modalities in a scenario. We illustrate the approach with use the popular example of patient-focused simulations for procedural skills.

Course 9 – SPs and moulage

This course introduces moulage as a technique to creating authentic simulation experiences. Basic moulage techniques are outlined with suggestions for creative use of products to offer visual and olfactory cues to participants in simulations.

Course 10 – Debriefing SPs after simulation events

This course introduces core facets of debriefing SPs involved in scenarios. Working as an SP can be emotional work and SPs often need to be supported in “de-roling” and in debriefing. There is a focus on using systematic approaches.

Course 11 – Interprofessional SP-based education

This course introduces SP work in interprofessional teams. Approaches to SP scenario development for a team of health professionals are provided and special considerations for supporting SPs.

Course 12 – Children and adolescents as SPs

This course introduces approaches to working with children and adolescents as SPs (CASPs). The course covers all facets of CASP involvement in simulation with a particular focus on ethical considerations.