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HITS lab

Health Innovation Technology and Simulation Program

This inter-professional lab is a joint endeavor between Tickle College of Engineering and the College of Nursing. The Co-Directors for research, Drs. Wyatt and Li, and Simulation Director overseeing education, Susan H. Hébert, share a long-term goal to become a federally funded center housing state of the art simulation and healthcare technologies, to support education, testing, technology development and intellectual property generation. The HITS lab promotes active inter-professional simulated learning and develops and tests health innovation and technology.


The interprofessional HITS team aims to advance simulation and innovation by upholding standards of practice for simulation and advancing knowledge of innovation, technology, and simulation through research.

Vision Statement:
Leading Care. Creating Partnerships. Improving Health.

The HITS lab has 2 foci:

  • To engage in simulation education best practices
  • To engage in research that further advances knowledge about simulation, innovation and technology

Simulation Education

The simulation facilities for the College of Nursing are located in three separate locations on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s campus;
1. A high-fidelity HITS (Health Innovation Technology and Simulation) Lab located at 1818 Andy Holt Ave. in Temple Hall
2. A low-fidelity or skills training Learning Lab in Room 207 of the College of Nursing
3. A specialized Physical Assessment Lab located at 2233 Volunteer Blvd. in Service Building C.

The simulation program has been awarded provisional accreditation through the International Society of Simulation in Healthcare. This status ensures all simulation activities follow best standards of simulation education delivery. You will find simulation incorporated into all clinical courses within the undergraduate and master’s programs. Simulation allows students the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills and handle patient/family situations not typically seen in the clinical setting.

HITS Research

The HITS team and collaborators engage in research to improve simulation practices.  College of Nursing faculty collaborate with other disciplines such as engineering, social work, public health, pharmacy, medicine, nutrition, and exercise physiology to advance the science of simulation leading to improved healthcare practices.  The HITS team also engages in research related to healthcare innovation and technology by developing technologies, testing products, generating intellectual property and designing products to improve simulation education.

Link to HITS research website:


The high-fidelity HITS (Health Innovation Technology and Simulation) lab is a 7,600-square-foot state-of-the art simulation facility located in Temple Hall. HITS has space that replicates patient care environments where health care providers learn cognitive, psychomotor (technical), and affective (behavioral) skills using an interprofessional approach.

The lab includes areas that simulate the following health care settings; a pediatric suite, medical/surgical room, obstetric delivery room, emergency room, Smart Home apartment space, and four primary care exam rooms.

Inside the lab are manikins for adult, obstetric, and pediatric care, which allow for presentation of high-fidelity simulations scenarios.  Live simulated participants are also incorporated as warranted to provide learners with opportunity to provide care which is family centered and focused on communication. The space includes audiovisual technology that records simulation events, which can be immediately replayed for debriefing in a large classroom setting.  In addition, the high fidelity HITS lab is equipped with two telehealth carts and robot technology to engage distance students in similar simulated learning opportunities.

Learning Lab

The low-fidelity Learning Lab, located in the College of Nursing, is a 2,400-square-foot facility with 14 functioning acute care beds including wall units. This lab is equipped with medical supplies, medications, carts, and manikins that promote psychomotor skills learning. The lab experiences include a variety of multiple task trainers for skill-specific training, some of which are for tracheostomy and wound care, as well as IV and urinary catheter insertion.

In the center of the lab is a seated classroom with smart board technology used to reinforce learning. Two bed spaces are equipped with live feed cameras displayed on an interactive white board, reinforcing learning with live-feed video.

Physical Assessment Lab

The Physical Assessment Lab is located on the corner of Volunteer Blvd. and UT Drive at 2233 Volunteer Blvd., Service Building C and is used for both undergraduate and graduate nursing students. The lab is primarily used for physical assessment courses but also serves as an additional low-fidelity skills space and classroom. It consists of 16 exam tables and 4 mid-level fidelity manikins used to evaluate physical exam skills in addition to a variety of specialty skill focused task trainers.

Campus Maps to each location:

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