Originally published May 6, 2013

The Ruehlow Nursing Complex at MSOE is now open. The complex is a $3 million, 25,000 square-foot innovative and experiential learning center for the MSOE School of Nursing. MSOE Regent Kathleen Ruehlow, an MSOE alumna of the Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing, is the major supporter of the project. MCGHSN merged into MSOE in 1995.

The Ruehlow Nursing Complex, featuring new classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices, is located on the first floor of the Student Life and Campus Center. The new space is nearly quadruple the size f the existing nursing labs, and allows the faculty to enhance the already innovative education experience that is the hallmark of an MSOE education. Nursing students actively engage in simulation-based learning opportunities in authentic representations of actual healthcare situations. They integrate theoretical learning into practice through experiential learning opportunities that allow for repetition, feedback, evaluation and reflection.


Simulation Rooms
Simulation experiences are a critical part of nursing education. Simulations provide students with opportunities to communicate with patients, respond to patient needs, and witness the consequences of their decision-making and clinical reasoning in a hospital-like setting. The Ruehlow Nursing Complex features four simulated hospital rooms that are connected by a central nurses station, similar to a hospital intensive care unit. The rooms feature call lights for the patients, who are high fidelity manikins. The life-like manikins are driven by computer software that enables them to breathe, cough, talk or change conditions based on what nursing professors have programmed.

A unique feature of the Ruehlow Nursing Complex is the direct linkage of two classrooms with two simulation rooms. Students learn theoretical concepts in class and can immediately turn to the back of the classroom where the opened wall allows them to apply what they have just learned to the care of a patient in the simulated hospital. In addition, each of these rooms contains biomedical technology and other equipment necessary to care for patients with diverse needs.

The four simulation rooms and their patients are:

  • CC-131 Sim Junior Manikin: Students learn to provide nursing care for a pediatric patient in an acute care environment. This patient might have acute or chronic health conditions.
  • CC-132 Laboring Mom Manikin: Students learn to provide nursing care for a woman with maternal health needs. This mother may be in labor or delivering her baby.
  • CC-133 Simman Classic Manikin: Students learn to provide nursing care for adults with acute and chronic conditions.
  • CC-134 Simman Essential: This patient has an acute illness, and also can be transported into the classroom for the purposes of teaching and learning.

General Labs
Four state-of-the-art laboratories where students learn health assessment skills and about active integration of pharmacology with medication administration. These skills prepare sophomores for their first clinical experience with real patients.

Home Care Lab
The home care lab is set up like a handicap accessible studio apartment. It includes a kitchen area, table and chairs, living room furniture, a large screen TV, washer, dryer, and spacious bathroom with shower. Students take turns playing the role of the patient and teaching one another how to maneuver within the home with an illness. Students also learn how to use adaptive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and assistive devices within the home, and receive a simulation of what their patients experience.

Student Area
Nestled in the middle of the Ruehlow Nursing Complex, the student area offers the opportunity to engage in collaborative learning as well as an environment in which to socialize and relax.  In addition to comfortable furniture, there is a Mondopad, which is a touch screen TV that allows for student computer use as a display screen for group work. The student area also has a refrigerator, microwave and cabinets for storage of materials by the nursing student organizations.

MSOE School of Nursing
The MSOE School of Nursing offers both a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and an Accelerated Second Degree B.S. in Nursing. The programs educate graduates to address the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to health states. The extensive integration of technology into compassionate nursing practice enables graduates to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to provide safe, effective, high-quality client-centered care as members of a complex, continually evolving health care system.

Why do students choose the B.S. in Nursing at MSOE?

  • Students are admitted directly into the nursing program
  • The first nursing course is in the freshman year and clinical experiences start in sophomore year.
  • MSOE has a four-year graduation guarantee.
  • Varied and unique clinical sites help students discover what type of nurse they want to be.
  • Focused attention from dedicated faculty in small classes.
  • Graduates had an average starting salary of $52,763 and 100% placement rate (2011-2012).
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation.

Regent Kathleen Ruehlow
MSOE Regent Kathleen Ruehlow ’72 is a graduate of the Milwaukee County Hospital School of Nursing, which merged into MSOE in 1995. Kathy is the widow of MSOE alumnus Gerald Ruehlow ’69 who died in August 2004. Jerry was vice president of technology of Generac Power Systems and also a Distinguished Alumnus. Regent Ruehlow is president of the Ruehlow Family Foundation. She is a strong supporter of MSOE students through a multiple-student scholarship program established in the Ruehlow family name, and also through her major support of the new nursing complex.

About MSOE
MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 94% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.