Seminole State College’s nursing program was recently awarded a congressionally directed grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the amount of $1,050,000. The grant, to be distributed over the next three years, is set to bring transformative changes to SSC’s Nursing Department, particularly focusing on the development and expansion of simulation labs.
Crystal Bray, Chair of the Health Sciences Division and Nursing Program Director, said, “This grant will give students the opportunity to work on a variety of clinical skill sets and work with a variety of patients through simulation that they may not always see in a hospital setting when they’re doing their clinicals.”
This multi-faceted initiative will involve the reconstruction of SSC’s existing nursing laboratory, converting it into a cutting-edge simulation lab. Four specialized rooms, designed to replicate hospital environments, will provide students with a realistic setting for hands-on learning. Two of these rooms will feature audio and video capabilities, enabling students to
engage in real-time patient care simulations, complete with one-way mirrors and interactive technologies.
“Students will be able to make decisions on their own on a mannequin in a safe environment,” Bray said.
A significant portion of the grant will be directed towards the acquisition of high-fidelity mannequins that simulate various medical conditions, delivering a lifelike and immersive learning experience. The mannequins will perform actions ranging from walking to having seizures, providing students with an array of potential patient scenarios.
Bray highlighted the grant’s significance in bridging the gap between training mannequins and real-world patients, “This shift aims to better prepare students for the challenges of the healthcare field, where they will encounter patients of various sizes and conditions.”
SSC is also exploring the integration of virtual reality (VR) technology into its nursing programs. VR-based clinical simulations would allow students to experience complex medical situations and scenarios, enriching the learning experience.
The grant will also fund the purchase of advanced medical equipment, such as medication dispensing systems and computerized charting systems, to help students familiarize themselves with the exact technologies they will use in their future careers.
The grant award marks the culmination of a two-year effort by SSC’s dedicated team, spearheaded by Crystal Bray, alongside former Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Linda Goeller, current VPAA Dr. Amanda Estey, and Vice President for Fiscal Affairs Melanie Rinehart.
SSC President Lana Reynolds said, “We are so grateful for the team that worked so hard on this grant, and we’re appreciative of former U.S. Senator James Inhofe for his initial
invitation to apply for these funds and his efforts to direct these funds to our campus. As SSC continues its mission to enhance nursing education, the support of HRSA and the grant’s implementation will significantly contribute to preparing future nurses for the diverse challenges of healthcare.”