Melynda Thelen, PhD, MSN, RN, CHSE

Assistant Professor, Nursing

Lynde Thelen is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator and a faculty member at the University of Sioux Falls. Her teaching responsibilities are in the undergraduate programs focused on health promotion and disease prevention, fundamentals in nursing skills labs, pharmacology, spiritual, ethical, and cultural nursing, evidence-based practice, and simulation-based learning.

Thelen's research interests are in the areas of simulation-based learning in healthcare and medication competence among nurses.

Thelen has completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at South Dakota State University and a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on nursing education at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Thelen has completed a Ph.D. in Nursing at South Dakota State University with a focus on medication competence and nursing pharmacology education..


  • M.S.N., Science in Nursing, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 2006
  • B.S.N., Nursing, South Dakota State University, 1997
  • Ph.D. in Nursing, Medication competence and nursing pharmacology education, South Dakota State University, 2021

Courses Taught

  • NUR220 - Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • NUR327 - Pharmacology for Nurses
  • NUR305 - Spiritual and Ethical Dimensions of Holistic Care
  • NUR231 - Fundamentals of Nursing

Professional Memberships

Sigma Theta Tau International: Honor Society of Nursing

Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and to nursing leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing.

Member of National League of Nursing

The National League for Nursing promotes excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the nation's health.

Society for Simulation in Healthcare

This organization facilitates excellence in (multi-specialty) health care education, practice and through research through simulation modalities.

International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning

Promotes research and disseminates evidence base practice standards for clinical simulation methodologies and learning environments.

Phi Kappa Phi

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society to recognize and encourage superior scholarship without restriction as to area of study and to promote the unity and democracy of education.

Golden Key International Honor Society

The Golden Key International Honor Society recognizes academic achievement among college and university students. 


  • Nursing
  • Healthcare Simulation


Research focus areas

  • Nursing student's mathematic calculation skills
  • Simulation-based learning
  • Medication competence among nursing students
  • Nursing educational research 
  • Medication competence concept analysis

Scholarships and Creative Work

  • Thelen, M. (2021). The impact of online synchronous simulated clinical immersions on nursing students' pharmacology self-efficacy knowledge: A pretest posttest intervention pilot study. Nurse Education Today, 100(1), 1-8.
  • Rainboth, L., & DeMasi, C. (2006). Nursing students' mathematic calculation skills. Nurse Education Today, 26(8), 655-66.
  • Thelen, M. (2021, March). The impact of online synchronous simulated clinical immersions on nursing students' pharmacology self-efficacy knowledge: A pretest posttest intervention pilot study. Presented at Midwest Nursing Research Society, Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Thelen, M. (2017, February). Essentials in Simulation. Presented at HPSN World 2017, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
  • Rabine, M, (2016, February). Essentials in Simulation. Presented at HPSN World 2016, Tampa, Florida
  • Rabine, M. (2012, October). Moulage Course. Presented at Central Regional SimDay, Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Rabine, M. (2012, October). Bringing Simulation to Life: Utilizing Role Playing, Moulage, and Debriefing. Presented at Central Regional SimDay, Sioux Falls, SD.

Service/Volunteer Work

Feed my Starving Children: Mobilepack

Volunteers come together to help pack meals to be sent overseas to feed children and families in need.

Whittier Middle School Visit Day

I have been leading the introduction to nursing module for 10 years now. The module consist of teaching the middle school children on how to use a stethascope to listen to the heart sounds, lung sounds, and bowel sounds of an adult and baby high human simulator. Also, the children are taught how to put on personal protective equipment (gown, gloves, mask). 

Nursing Educator Today Manuscript Reviewer

Nurse Education Today is the leading international journal providing a forum for the publication of high-quality original research, review, and debate in the discussion of nursing, midwifery, and interprofessional health care education, publishing papers that contribute to the advancement of educational theory and pedagogy that support the evidence-based practice for educationalists worldwide. The journal stimulates and values critical scholarly debate on issues that have strategic relevance for leaders of health care education. The journal employs a double-blind peer review process for all submissions and its current Impact Factor is 3.442 making it one of the leading nursing education journals.