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Partnering to Improve Parkinson's Care

Villanova Nursing and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine collaborate to improve safety and outcomes during transitional care for patients with Parkinson's disease.

A female nursing student taking vitals as part of a simulation
In the Simulation and Learning Resource Center, undergraduate and graduate nursing students have the opportunity to perform clinical assessments and practice new skills.

An innovative partnership is bringing together students from Villanova Nursing and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to improve care transitions and eliminate medication errors for hospitalized patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Villanova's M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Simulation and Learning Resource Center is the hub for this work, as an interprofessional team of undergraduate senior Nursing and master’s-level Nurse Anesthesia students from Villanova work side by side with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students and Doctor of Psychology students from PCOM to simulate and learn from patient care scenarios.

These federally copyrighted mock code simulations are part of an evolving body of simulation research led by Diane M. Ellis, ’84, ’92 MSN, RN, CCRN, assistant professor of the Practice of Nursing. 

Assisted by faculty, simulation staff and research seminar students, Professor Ellis has completed three phases of her research, involving approximately 1,000 health care professionals from various disciplines. 

“It was our aim to create innovative case studies for simulation to improve care for this vulnerable, ‘high risk, low volume’ population by increasing awareness of the impact of medication errors in patients with Parkinson’s disease,” she says. “This is just the beginning.”