SIM Courses

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) Nursing Orientation

Background: Orienting newly hired nurses to the dynamic environment of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) has become increasingly more challenging due to higher patient acuity and complexity. To expose orienting nurses to the full complement of high-risk, low-frequency events, as well as provide opportunities to safely practice critical thinking during the management of these events, we created a simulation-enhanced orientation program for newly hired critical care cardiac nurses. This program has been a core component to the nursing orientation since 2006.

Format: Six (6), 2 hour, compliment and coincide with didactic elements of longitudinal curriculum
Venue: ICU-based Simulation Suite (ICUSIM)
Frequency: Quarterly
Participants: CICU Nurses
Expertise Level: Novice
Course Leaders: Annette Impresica, RN


  • Sessions build in complexity  and conclude with a guided debriefing.
  • Focus on safety and communication as the key pillars to clinical practice.
  • Promote discussion and develop critical thinking skills.
  • Review of medical, surgical, and peri-operative approaches to common congenital heart defects.
  • Anticipate potential complications and prepare to intervene.
  • Employs “Pause and Discuss” teaching approach.


General Materials
General Faculty Materials

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