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Nursing program receives $283,050 to enhance simulation and skills lab

RELEASED: Oct. 1, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The nursing department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has received a grant of $283,050 from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to acquire human patient simulator equipment that will enhance the simulation and skills lab used by graduate nursing students.

Dr. Debra Jansen, professor of nursing and interim associate dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, wrote the grant proposal to HRSA's "Equipment to Enhance Training for Health Professionals — Advanced Education Nursing" program. The program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

With the grant, the nursing department will purchase high-tech interactive manikins to be used by the more than 110 students in UW-Eau Claire's advanced nursing education programs, including the master of science in nursing program, post-master's certificate program and post-master's doctor of nursing practice program. The equipment also will be used by students in the university's post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice program when it begins in summer 2012.

"The grant will enable us to purchase three medium-fidelity (moderately realistic) interactive geriatric manikins, a realistic baby manikin and two high-fidelity (highly realistic) SimMan 3G adult human patient simulators," Jansen said.

The simulation equipment will assist the graduate students in assessment, critical thinking and diagnostic skills, Jansen said, and it will enable students to practice interdisciplinary teamwork and hone communication and technical skills in a safe environment.

"The equipment will help us in increasing the number of advanced professional nurses in the northern, north central and western regions of the state of Wisconsin who are effectively prepared to care for the populations in those communities, many of which are rural," Jansen said.

Currently the department's nursing skills laboratory includes a SimMan human patient simulator, a birthing simulator and various interactive adult manikins with heart and lung sounds and blood pressure assessment capabilities, all of which is shared by undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

"The new equipment will relieve the current high demand for simulator equipment and provide more sophisticated equipment needed by students enrolled in nursing graduate programs, which prepare nurses as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse administrators and nurse educators," Jansen said.

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JP/DW

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