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Grant awarded to the nursing department at CSU-Pueblo

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A grant for $400,000 has been awarded to the CSU-Pueblo’s nursing department to supply the latest simulation technology for nursing students.

This federal grant from The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration was used to hire a simulation specialist, and to provide equipment, supplies and construction related to the new equipment, according to a press release document.

Simulation technology is the way of the future to train and educate nursing students, said Donna Wofford, the associate dean of nursing and grant coordinator for this specific grant.

Natalie Hill, Elizabeth Kirt, Mari Neason and Linda Givens, students in the accelerated nursing program, practice with a new manikin simulator. Photo by Andi Torguson
These two new high fidelity manikin simulators resemble a real patient as much as possible, said Joann Crownover, the simulation specialist and assistant professor.

“These simulators give me the opportunity to practice my skills,” said Natalie Hill, a senior in the accelerated nursing program.

The simulators provide realistic practice because the manikin simulators can blink and breathe and are truly human like, Wofford said. The simulators can also be programmed to speak and respond.

“Since the patient is so realistic it really helps enhance the coordination with my hands,” Hill said.

Crownover responds to the students with the computer that controls the manikin. “This includes things like what the simulator says, its breathing pattern and vital signs,” Crownover said.

“You can actually take and pull fluids from the simulators and can also give them shots,” Hill said.

This grant is also going to be used to update the department’s computer systems and improve the facilities, Wofford said.

One of the new manikins that the nursing program recieved with their grant money. Photo by Andi Torguson
The CSU-Pueblo’s nursing program now fills an important demand for nurses in Pueblo and Southern Colorado.

Colorado is the third fastest growing state and predicts an increase of 1.5 million people by the year 2020, according to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence.

“With this type of technology it is a great evaluation tool and gives students the opportunity to practice in non-threatening situations, Wofford said.

If the deficiency of nurses continues and no strategic action is taken to increase nursing students, graduates and new practitioners, Colorado’s shortage of nurses will escalate to 31 percent by 2020, according to the document.

 This type of technology is a great evaluation tool and gives students the opportunity to practice in non-threatening situations, Wofford said.

The CSU-Pueblo Nursing Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science degree in Nursing.

There are four emphasis areas for this degree: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Acute Care/ Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education.