Nursing program introduces new realistic simulators

A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the nursing department's new simulation center. Scroll down to view additional photos.

Henderson State University’s Department of Nursing introduced its new “Nursing Anne” and “Sim Baby” simulators May 9 during a special ceremony and reception.

Nursing Anne is a skills proficiency, full-body manikin with articulating arms and legs and includes simulator accessories and a SimPad handheld operating device. It’s built specifically for nursing education, from basic assessment to advanced practice. Sim Baby is a tetherless full-body pediatric simulator.

“Students will have realistic simulated experiences with Nursing Anne and Sim Baby that are simple to learn and maintain,” said Judy Carlyle, assistant professor of nursing. Students will have standardized training opportunities with the consistency of pre-programmed content.

Faculty will have less technology barriers to overcome while maintaining a high level of “fidelity,” she said. “Faculty will also have a turn-key delivery capability with scenarios from multiple sources that drive the simulator.”

The new simulation center was funded by a $140,447 grant from Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas.

Henderson hopes to increase enrollment for its nursing programs by replacing 25-50 percent of clinical hours with simulation, which will help relieve the limitations from available clinical space.

“The increased enrollment will help alleviate the nursing shortage in our region and help us reach the goal of 80 percent BSN nurses available by 2020 as recommended by the Institute of Medicine,” said Dr. Shelly Austin, nursing department chair and assistant professor.

In spring 2018, Henderson received 57 nursing applicants for the traditional BSN program. But only 24 could be admitted.

“We had to turn away 33 qualified applicants due to lack of clinical space and lack of qualified faculty,” Austin said. “The center will enable us to increase our qualified, pre-licensure nursing students to 32 each year.”

The simulation center will be available to all health professional students at Henderson, including those seeking health-related degrees other than nursing. It will provide “real-life” experiences with guided learning scenarios in a safe, innovative environment.

“Nursing will be designated as the primary user of the HESC, but we will encourage students in our other health professional degrees to utilize it,” Austin said.

Henderson’s other health professional degrees include:

  • Associate of Health Science

  • Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology

  • Bachelor of Science in Radiography

  • Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine

  • Associate of Radiography

Henderson just opened two new online MSN degrees: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Administrator with a Nurse Educator Certificate. Students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program can utilize the center for demonstration of check-offs on physical assessment at the advanced practice level.

Read more about the Nursing Anne simulator.