As a nurse, Jane Paige, Ph.D. knows how important it is to eliminate any possibility of error on the job. But as a professor in MSOE’s School of Nursing, Paige knows students can learn from their mistakes.

“And they will make mistakes. They’ll make errors in judgment. They’ll make errors in communication,” she said. But MSOE’s state-of-the-art simulation center gives nursing students the opportunity to learn in a safe environment where it’s okay to make those errors.

The center’s four simulated hospital rooms feature manikins that are essentially expensive computers that “come alive,” said Paige. “They talk and they breathe and they mimic what students will see in the health care environment.”

Paige is the undergraduate program director for the School of Nursing, as well as a certified health care simulation educator. She worked 15 years as a staff nurse and then as the director of an intensive care unit before deciding to go back to school at age 40. She earned her master’s degree as a nurse practitioner and as an educator from Concordia University in 2002, and soon after, started teaching at MSOE.

“I found it academically stimulating with the variety of things that you do and the different people you meet,” said Paige. “I just really fell into love with the teaching part.”

While teaching full time, she earned her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “I wanted to do some educational research,” said Paige, “and that’s when simulation was just starting as a new teaching method in health care and nursing.”

Since earning her Ph.D., Paige continues to present and publish on educational simulations. “An ongoing project for me is creating modules for educating people across the country on how to use simulations and how to develop faculty to use simulations,” she said.

For more than five years, Paige has also been involved with interprofessional training with second-year medical students at The Medical College of Wisconsin. When students learn, they learn in silos, said Paige, so interprofessional education brings students of different disciplines together so they can learn with each other.

“If you can’t collaborate and figure out the best way to take care of your patients, that’s where errors happen,” said Paige. “So, we have to incorporate that type of learning experience within the training programs.”

Paige serves as a CREATE Faculty Fellow at MSOE. The concepts embedded in the CREATE Institute to deepen experiential learning and promote servant-leadership fit well with how nurses teach, she said. “We teach our students to ask why. Why do we do this? How can we make it better?”

As for servant-leadership, Paige said, the desire to help others is what draws most students to nursing.

“Adopting the MSOE Mindset is about developing our students to be professionals: having them be leaders, representing what character is, and how that makes a difference in their effectiveness and how they are valued as employees,” she said.

Paige was a recipient of the Karl O. Werwath Engineering Research Award in 2015. She is a member of several scientific and professional organizations, including National League of Nursing, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and Society of Simulation in Healthcare.

“I do like working on my own professional development through the organizations I’m involved with,” she said. “So, a lot of my hobbies still relate to my work-related stuff.” Paige also likes to spend time with her three grown children.