National Simulation Office

Healthcare simulation

Healthcare simulation is a modern method to train healthcare professionals. Simulation can be used to improve performance to lead to better patient outcomes and safer care. 

Simulation provides opportunities for standardised clinical experiences and offers a safe environment to learn and practice safely. Simulation is useful for learning as an individual or within a team and can be used for mastering practical or technical procedures and non-technical skills, such as communication and leadership. Simulation supports human factors approaches to improving the quality of care.

The vision for simulation in Ireland is that it will transform healthcare, empowering all healthcare professions to provide safe, effective, patient-centred care that meets the evolving needs of healthcare organisations. Modern simulation, when carefully co-designed, supports competence in the individual, performance in the inter-professional team and a culture of safety and quality improvement in healthcare organisations.

Demonstrated outcomes that improve the quality of care include decreased infection rates through focused instruction for central line insertion, lowered occurrences of perinatal asphyxia and neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) following team training for obstetric emergencies, and improved survival rates during cardiac arrests using a rapid cycle deliberate practice. Simulation is both an educational intervention and a diagnostic tool that can be used for exploring and understanding complex healthcare systems to identify areas of improvement, potential risks and emerging issues.  

Simulation technology and methodologies continue to advance, providing opportunities for innovation and research within healthcare. Healthcare simulation can be used to study new treatments, test novel technologies and evaluate care delivery models. These advancements can lead to improved patient outcomes by introducing evidence-based practices and driving continuous improvement in healthcare. 

About us

The National Simulation Office (NSO) facilitates, supports and provides leadership to a collaborative group who will inform the shared strategic priorities for the office.

The vision of the NSO is for the transformation of healthcare through simulation, empowering all healthcare providers to deliver improved care that is safe, effective and patient centred, and meets the evolving needs of healthcare services.  

The NSO’s mission is to embed valued and sustainable high-quality simulation activities in healthcare organisations that support the development of competence in the individual, high performance in the inter-professional team and an organisational culture of patient safety and quality improvement. 

The creation of the NSO follows the report The Implementation of Simulation on Clinical Sites: A National Strategic Guide, launched by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly in March 2022. This report made recommendations for the development of sustainable high-quality simulation activities to support improved healthcare delivery. The NSO will play a crucial role in promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange among healthcare professionals and academics who are using simulation in healthcare institutions and simulation centres. By developing a community of practice, the NSO will serve as a platform for sharing best practices. The NSO will prioritise faculty development and simulation education.  

NSO Simulation Innovation Fund (NATION)

Applications are now open for NSO Simulation Innovation Fund (NATION).

HSE National Simulation Office (NSO) in collaboration with the HSE Spark Innovation Programme have launched the NSO Simulation Innovation Fund (NATION). This is an initiative designed to support the advancement of priority areas for developing simulation in Ireland.

This initiative offers funding amounts of up to €20,000 for successful project applications that support solutions and innovations in the following 6 key priority areas for simulation:

  • Programme management and improvement
  • Collaboration
  • Personnel development
  • Promotion of simulation
  • Ethics and integrity
  • Resource management

The closing date for applications is 12pm, Wednesday 26th of June 2024.

This initiative is open to HSE and Section 38, Higher Education Institutions and Post Graduate Training Bodies.

Send your applications to National Simulation Office and learn more about how applying for NATION funding can help you to input into the advancement of simulation in healthcare!

For any queries regarding the application, contact our mailing list.

NATION innovation fund (PDF, size 77.4 KB, 1 page)

Contact us

Professor Dara Byrne, National Clinical Lead for Simulation, National Simulation Office. 


National strategic guide for the implementation of simulation on clinical sites (PDF, 2.89MB, 88 Pages)