Deborah Bambini

Faculty Profile: Deborah Bambini

Like every good storyteller, Deborah Bambini knows that a successful story requires attention to detail. Whether it’s a novel, a movie, a play or, in Bambini’s case, a nursing setting, if the details are wrong, the scene won’t work. And when lives are on the line, being detail oriented is even more critical.

Thanks to Bambini’s attention to detail, the more than 150 nursing simulation scenarios the associate professor in Grand Valley’s Kirkhof College of Nursing has written and edited over the years have helped the college’s Simulation and Learning Resource Center become a premier facility for students and professionals of various fields and institutions to gain real-world skills and practice in health care. The center is designed to promote interprofessional learning, while providing simulation at gradually more realistic levels.

In 2011, Bambini authored, contributed to, or served as content expert coordinator on seven published projects ranging from neonatal resuscitation to postpartum hemorrhage for Elsevier Health Sciences, a leading international health care publisher.

“Our goal is to provide as much fidelity as possible to students,” said Bambini, who has been teaching at Grand Valley in one form or another since 1993. Since then, she has finished her M.S.N., obtained her Ph.D., and become a tenured faculty member. “We provide all the info, tools, and scripts for faculty to run a simulation of a certain type of patient situation.”

To write a simulation, Bambini draws from her 11 years of experience as a nurse practitioner, as well as her teaching and her M.S.N. and Ph.D. studies. She then researches situations, actions, and outcomes using cases from resources and databases such as CINAHL, ERIC, and Medline. Before the product is published, Bambini said it goes through a group of five experts known as the “deep dive team” to ensure the scenario is “a very realistic portrayal of a patient’s history and provides a true 360 degree simulation experience.”

The simulation center uses manikins and actors as patients for which unique histories and nursing scenarios have been created. The scenarios Bambini created for Elsevier are accessed electronically. In all, the obstetric simulation product has 20 patient scenarios; the health assessment edition has 12 patients, each with 6 to 8 simulations. Bambini is editor of the obstetrics edition and co-editor of the health assessment edition. She noted that her students are not the sole beneficiaries of her work: “As I write scenarios, I stay up to date on best practices in nursing related to the scenarios and simulation.”

In 2008, Bambini received a Pew Faculty Teaching with Technology award for being an early adoptee of multiple forms of technology and engaging her students in Wiki and Webquest projects. “I love inspiring and sharing the love of nursing with students,” she said. “I have a broader vision of what nursing can be and want to share that.”