The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has awarded the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a $165,000 grant for the Center for Simulation Innovation in the School of Nursing.
“Our board is pleased to continue the working relationship with UA Little Rock and greatly appreciates the educational opportunities for students,” said Mandy Macke, director of the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. “Adequate training is essential to delivering competent healthcare professionals. UA Little Rock is doing their part to address the nursing shortage in our state, and the Walker Foundation is proud to partner with them in providing the highest level of training possible.”
The UA Little Rock Center for Simulation Innovation (CSI) provides nursing students with valuable real-world experience that prepares them for their future careers in the healthcare industry. Located on the first floor of the UA Little Rock Pat Walker Center for Nursing Education, CSI is a 20-bed state-of-the-art simulation hospital offering simulation-based clinical learning experiences within a 9,500 square foot facility.
“The School of Nursing is overwhelmed with gratitude for the generous donation made by the Walker Foundation to help increase our ability to offer state-of-the-art simulation experiences for nursing students and other interdisciplinary undertakings at UA Little Rock,” said Dr. Sloan Davidson, director of the School of Nursing.
This grant enables CSI upgrades that tie into the center’s five-year strategic plan pillars: sustainability, impact, standardization, and research. The funding will be used to upgrade the audiovisual system platform in the Center for Simulation Innovation.
“The CAE Enterprise platform we will be upgrading to is a complete simulation center management platform that gives endless opportunities for research, inventory management, scheduling, and learner time and performance tracking,” said Joanna Rostad-Hall, CSI director.
Additional funding will go towards converting three classrooms on the second floor of the nursing building to Zoom-capable classrooms.
“This will allow students in the classrooms to watch live simulations as well as students in simulation to debrief and interact with their classmates upstairs in the classrooms,” Rostad-Hall said. “If further additional funding remains, we may be able to use some of that funding to secure the most state of the art birthing mannikin (Lucina AR).”
CSI simulations include scenarios focused on a variety of concepts including communication, education, and patient health and safety. The simulations include caring for post-operative patients, treating critically ill patients, and the ever-popular birthing simulation. Since the School of Nursing comprises the largest department at UA Little Rock, CSI stays busy, typically running simulations five days a week, eight hours a day.
“The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has changed the lives of Arkansans due to their lasting impact on institutions across the state,” said Michael Johnson, director of development and external relations for the College of Business, Health, and Human Services. “We appreciate their continued support for our nursing program at UA Little Rock and their ongoing support for education and healthcare in Arkansas.”
In the upper right photo, senior nursing students prepare for transition to practice by participating in an Emergency Room simulation in the Center for Simulation Innovation. Photo by Ben Krain.