Dr. Villanueva serves on the Provost’s leadership team. As one of two Assistant Academic Vice Presidents, she has administrative oversight of the Health Sciences Simulation Center and the departments who report to the Director of Teaching and Learning (Academic and Instructional Innovation, Assessment, and the John A. Graziano Memorial Library). She shares accountabilities for the University’s interprofessional education with Dr. Negrete and serves as Office of Academic Affairs liaison to the Joint Medical Program of UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco, Sutter Health Nursing Workforce initiatives, the Faculty Organization and the Faculty Development Committee.
Celeste’s educational background includes degrees from the University of California, Irvine, University of California, San Francisco, Columbia University and Pepperdine University. Her 28-year career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) includes 17 years in clinical practice and 20 years as an educator and higher education administrator. Her association with SMU’s Program of Nurse Anesthesia (PNA) began during its earliest years when she served as a curriculum consultant in 1993; she served as the PNA Associate Director for 7 years before becoming Director from 2003 - 2012. Under her leadership the PNA evolved significantly in size and stature in the national anesthesia community, distinguishing itself for its innovative approaches to learning in the academic setting, its rigorous, comprehensive clinical curriculum that provides substantial experience for students in the full scope of anesthesia practice, and its consistently high performance in all program metrics established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs.
An early adopter and pioneer in the field of healthcare simulation, Celeste has been a champion of the full range of immersive learning approaches for nearly two decades. Her specific area of expertise and passion is simulation-based learning (SBL). It is her vision, leadership, and commitment that is often credited as the driving force behind the establishment in 2006 and subsequent success of the Health Sciences Simulation Center. Under her direction, the Center has garnered its institutional reputation as a vibrant locus for learning and creativity and a national reputation as an exemplar of SBL best practices and future-minded strategic thinking.
As AAVP, Dr. Villanueva is charged with developing, planning, garnering funds for and implementing a robust and systematic faculty development program for internal and external faculty. She is motivated by the goal to create accessible and inspiring spaces for faculty to collaborate, learn and grow, and to establish mechanisms that will afford faculty dedicated time to focus on optimizing their educational practice.
2015 Doctor of Education, Learning Technologies Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
1987 Master of Science, Nurse Anesthesia Columbia University New York, NY
1980 Bachelor of Science, Nursing University of California San Francisco, CA
1977 Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences University of California Irvine, CA
- Different models of curricular integration of simulation and other immersive methodologies across all healthcare professional domains
- The impact of formative simulation-based learning on clinical performance
- Use of simulation-based methodologies for high-stakes competency assessment in healthcare professional education (pre-professional licensure/certification); and high- and low-stakes competency assessment in the lifelong education of healthcare professionals.
- Interprofessional education with a focus on the use of emerging technologies to foster a collaborative approach to learning
10/2015 - present
Multi-Patient Simulation Sessions for Pre-licensure Nursing Students. Co-developer and faculty facilitator for 4-hour simulation sessions integrated into SMU pre-licensure nursing courses (N594, N194)
06/2015 - present
Simulation-based laboratory curriculum – Patient & Client Management VII: Cardiopulmonary. Co-developer and faculty for course in the SMU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (PT717)
01/2015 - present
Patient Safety & Communication Simulation Sessions. Faculty lead in development and implementation of eleven 4-hour simulation sessions (per semester) for a course with students from the SMU nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant students (IPE100-601-701). Serve as primary faculty development facilitator.
09/2015 – present
Interprofessional Team Practice for Error Management. Co-developer and faculty for an interprofessional course delivered collaboratively by SMU and the Joint Medical Program of UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco (IPE100-600-700). The innovative format of this course lies in its application of simulation-based learning and problem-based learning.
11/2014 - present
TeamSTEPPS@SMU Master, Fundamentals and Essentials Training Courses. Co-faculty lead, course developer (includes simulation).
Villanueva, C.G. (2015). An exploratory case study about interprofessional simulation-based learning for a team of health care educators. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Database (#3741617)
Research studies in progress:
Co-investigator: Evaluation of Simulation-Based Train the Trainer Educational Program for Sutter Health’s Perinatal Patient Safety Program. SMUIRB # 14-033 (Principal Investigator: J. Wong, MPHA, RN)
Research Team Member:(Principal Investigators:
Villanueva, C.G. (2016 anticipated publication date). Simulation in Nurse Anesthesia Education – Practical Approaches to Curriculum Integration, In A Resource for Nurse Anesthesia Educators, 2nd edition, Park Ridge, IL: American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Publishing, Inc.
Villanueva, C.G. (2009). Simulation in Nurse Anesthesia Education – Practical Approaches to Curriculum Integration, In A Resource for Nurse Anesthesia Educators, Park Ridge, IL: American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Publishing, Inc.
Gwin, T., Villanueva, C., & Wong, J. (2015) Student Developed and Led Simulation Scenarios. Nurse Education Perspectives, National League of Nursing. Accepted Sept 2015, publication date pending.
Wong, J, Villanueva C. (2013). Using Standardized Patients to Prepare Super Users for an EMR Rollout” [Abstract]. Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 8(3).
Developing Institutional Collaborations for Sustainable and Effective Interprofessional Education and Research. Co-presenter with Sharon Gorman, PT, DPTSc, GCS, FNAP. National Academies of Practice 2016 Annual Meeting & Forum, Baltimore, MD., April 8, 2016.
Curricular Innovations from Practice to Ivory Tower – A Sepsis Education Project for Nurses with Potential Interprofessional Collaborations, International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, San Diego, CA., February 1, 2012.
Building Bridges between the Ivory Tower and the Real World – A Simulation-Based Educational Experience on Sepsis Management for both Practicing RNs and Nursing Students, Magic in Teaching Conference, San Diego, CA., October 18, 2011
Wong, J., Villanueva, C., “Multi-patient Simulation.” Samuel Merritt University Spring Science Symposium, Oakland, CA, April 21, 2016.
Villanueva, C. “An exploratory case study about interprofessional simulation-based learning for a team of health care educators.” National Academies of Practice 2016 Annual Meeting & Forum, Baltimore, MD., April 8, 2016.
Villanueva, C., Wong, J. “Evaluation of an Electronic Health Record System Component of a Simulation-Based Train the Trainer Educational Program for a Healthcare System’s Perinatal Patient Safety Program.” International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), San Diego, CA, January 17, 2016.
Wong, J., Villanueva, C. “Evaluation of Simulation-Based Train the Trainer Educational Program for Sutter Health’s Perinatal Patient Safety Program.” .” International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), San Diego, CA, January 17, 2016.
Garlin, J., Stiers, W., Azzam, A., Villanueva, C., Rosa, L., “Two Sticks, One Flame…” IGNITE poster (2014) Internation Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH, .” Internation Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), San Francisco, CA, January 25 – 29, 2014.
Wong, J., Villanueva, C. “Using Standardized Patients to Prepare Super Users for an EHR Rollout.” International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), San Francisco, CA, January 25 – 29, 2014.
Wong, J., Villanueva, C. “Using Standardized Patients to Prepare Super Users for an EHR Rollout.” 12th Annual Meeting, Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE), Atlanta, GA, June 23 – 26, 2013.
Brennan, P., Villanueva, C. “Arresting Sepsis through Interprofessional Education.” 17th Annual Meeting & Forum, National Academies of Practice (NAP) – Successful Interprofessional Practice in a New Healthcare Environment, Washington, D.C., March 22-24, 2012.
12/2007 – 12/2009 - Project Director:
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant #1581 – Increasing Nursing Student Capacity Through Human Patient Simulation.
1997 - 2003 - Project Co-Director; 2003 - 2012: Project Director:
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Funding for Maintenance and Expansion of the Samuel Merritt University Program of Nurse Anesthesia.
10/2003 – 6/2005 - Program Director:
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advanced Education Nursing Grant # EIN #: 1900215449A1
2012: Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow (Nursing), National Academies of Practice
2010: Advocate Award (for simulation education) - Educational Management Solutions, Inc.
2006: Commendation from the Board of Regents, Students, Faculty and Staff, Samuel Merritt College
2005: Strommen-Dillashaw Award, Samuel Merritt College
2003: Excellence in Nursing Education, Sigma Theta Tau International, Nu Xi Chapter At-Large
2002: Didactic Instructor of the Year Award, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
1996: Yuri Nishimura Outstanding Clinical Educator Award, Samuel Merritt College Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia
1987: Margaret F. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Nurse Anesthesia, Columbia University - Roosevelt Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia
Qualitative Analysis” the Value of Software Tools. Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) Second Annual GSEP Faculty/Staff Research and Project Symposium. West Los Angeles, CA, June 3, 2016.
Educating the Educators – Preparing Hospital-based Clinical Nurse Educators to Facilitate Simulation-based Learning. Nursing Career Pathway Center Kickoff Symposium, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan, September 20, 2014.
My Favorite Standardized Martian – Exploring Strange New Worlds in Simulation. Fifth Inside the Simulation Studio 2013, University of California, San Francisco, August 15, 2013.
Simulation-Based Learning in Advanced Practice Nursing Education: Training for 21st Century Skills. Fourth Symposium of the Development of Postgraduate Education for Mid-Level Providers (Advanced Practice Nurses) and the Innovation of a Healthcare Delivery Model Program, hosted by the Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Nursing. Tokyo, Japan (virtual delivery), February 9, 2013.
Simulation-based Learning in Nurse Anesthesia Education Curricula – Expectations You Should Have. Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Seminar –Samuel Merritt University, June 9, 2012.
2011 - present: National Academies of Practice
2009 - 2010: Simulation Task Force, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Education Committee
2009 - 2010: Scope and Standards Task Force, AANA
2008 - 2011: Simulation Alliance Task Force, Society for Simulation in Healthcare (representative of the AANA)
2006 - 2009: National Certification Examination Committee, National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists
2001 - present: Society for Simulation in Healthcare
1990 - present: California Association of Nurse Anesthetists
1988 - present: American Association of Nurse Anesthetists