New simulation center prepares nursing students for the job market

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The Nebraska Center for Nursing said the state could lose about 5,000 nurses by 2025.

But CHI Health St. Elizabeth is trying to help solve that problem with a new high-tech training center. The practice simulation center could help address shortages by better preparing nursing students for the job market.

The hospital partners with Purdue University Global School of Nursing, providing its students with hands-on learning experiences.

“They can practice new skills in a stress-free situation,” said Jenny Stachura, vice president of patient care services at CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

The center has two fake hospital rooms. One room contains child and adult dummies that show human-like symptoms, including bleeding. Another room has mom and baby manikins to train students in labor and delivery.

“It really allows the student and the learner to feel comfortable from a practical standpoint and to have that confidence as a learner when you’re preparing to learn something new before working with patients,” said Melissa Burdi, Dean of Purdue University Global School of Nursing.

She said the new lab can solve patient care issues and address the shortage of nurses. Students learn more than just nursing skills.

“It’s also an opportunity to build, develop, refine and improve more general job skills such as communication, conflict resolution and learning to work in teams,” Burdi said.

Each of the rooms has tablets that help control the mannequins. There is also a control room with cameras so instructors can monitor students as they provide care.

“It’s so exciting to see where the future of medicine is going and how we’re using technology and innovation to bring us to this level of excellence at our institution,” Stachura said.

Current hospital nurses will also use the simulation center. CHI Health and the school hope that other providers, such as paramedics, can use the center to train in the future.

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