MSU-Meridian applies for provisional accreditation of hands-on, interactive Simulation Lab

Alaina Herrington works in the Interprofessional Simulation Lab with Tyler Tyree, a PA student, and Standardized Patient Cassie Carroll.  (Photo by Marianne Todd)Paige Williams, a PA student, is observed with Standardized Patient Gina Kennedy. (Photo by Marianne Todd)Contact: Marianne Todd

MERIDIAN, Miss.—MSU-Meridian has applied for provisional accreditation of Mississippi State University’s Interprofessional Simulation Lab, an interactive, hands-on instruction and testing facility that serves as a bedrock for educating future health care providers.

Once gaining provisional approval—anticipated this spring—MSU will be the sole university within the state to offer an accredited interprofessional simulation lab, said Alaina Herrington, associate professor of nursing and director of simulation and clinical affairs. Full accreditation is expected in the next two years.

The February application comes on the heels of Herrington’s January presentations to the national Society for Simulation in Healthcare in San Diego, California.

Herrington, who serves on SSH’s council for accreditation standards, said MSU-Meridian faculty are currently looking to hire and train the local Standardized Patients needed to accommodate instruction of students in two intensive health care programs at MSU-Meridian. Standardized Patient trainees complete a series of courses before participating in student learning and assessments.

The center already is in use to train MSU-Meridian’s 85 students enrolled in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. In August it will help train MSU-Meridian’s first cohort enrolled in the 12-month, fast-track Master of Science in Nursing program, Herrington said.

“It takes several months to fully train a Standardized Patient,” she said. “A Standardized Patient has a script, and they must perform the same way every time. There are cues within the scripts that help the students identify what’s wrong with the patient, but they’re also evaluating the students while they’re doing their exams. That’s part of their grade.”

The first floor of the MSU-Meridian Interprofessional Simulation Lab, located on the Riley Campus, is composed of six hospital bays, a control room and two realistic patient environments called High Fidelity simulation rooms for use in simulation scenarios.

To inquire about employment as a Standardized Patient, paid at $25 per hour, contact

For more information on MSU-Meridian’s accelerated Master of Science in Nursing degree program, visit or call 601-696-2277.

For more on MSU-Meridian’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies, visit or phone 601-696-2320.

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