The nation’s largest nurse anesthesia program is evolving and expanding! The excitement and anticipation are palpable as plans progress to update the simulation center and the student center and lounge area.
As the Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia received approval for the entry-level Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program, an aggressive campaign was launched to update the two OR simulation lab to a three OR simulation center. Dr. Brian Koonce, director of simulation noted, “realism in the learning environment is critical when teaching future CRNAs and the new simulation center has been designed to maximize our students' experience during scenarios.” The new simulation center will also include a dedicated control room for simulation faculty to operate high-fidelity equipment and observe students interacting with their patient and team members. A multi-purpose room will be used for preoperative evaluations, pre-briefing before sessions and debriefing after students have completed their experiences. Built-in audio and visual equipment will enhance learning through constant communication and contribute to debriefing sessions.
New and updated equipment including three new life-like mannequins that will recognize medications given by the student and become cyanotic when hypoxic. This visual trigger will improve student success when mask ventilating their patient. New anesthesia machines, anesthesia carts, operating room beds and stretchers are additional expected upgrades.
Including time in class or simulation, students often spend 8-10 hours per day on campus during each semester. These graduate students need meeting space and facilities that encourage wellness, healthy eating, exercise/fun, solo and group study. Renovation of the student center and lounge will help mitigate the stress of the anesthesia program and lessen the burden of a long day on campus.
Dr. Terri Kane, program director said, “the renovation of the simulation center and student lounge area will make GPNA stand out from the 123 programs across the country and encourage applications from highly qualified ICU nurses.” It is anticipated that renovations will begin Summer 2021.
Realizing the need for these upgrades, the university prioritized fundraising for these renovations and has actively pursued grant opportunities and targeted donations from individual and group donors and foundations. The $2-million project is nearly funded with approximately $1,750,000 received in directed donations.
To learn more about happenings at GPNA follow this quarterly newsletter or reach out to Dr. Terri Kane, Program Director or Dr. Brian Koonce, Director, Simulation Center. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you again or meet you for the first time so please stop by for a visit!