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UNF and HCA Florida Healthcare partner to open a state-of-the-art simulation center for nursing students

UNF nursing simulation centerThe University of North Florida and HCA Florida Healthcare, a leading operator of healthcare facilities in Florida, announce the development of a fully interdisciplinary simulation center that will deliver hands-on training to UNF Brooks College of Health nursing students and help meet the growing need for clinically trained healthcare and nursing professionals.

The simulation center will be named the “HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement at the University of North Florida” and will be located at the UNF MedNexus facility on the Florida State College at Jacksonville Deerwood campus. The simulation training center will be operational for UNF nursing students beginning in the fall 2022 semester.

Onsite nursing simulation training is critical as it provides a simulated medical environment where students can safely learn all levels of care and practice hands-on best practices before entering their clinical training at hospitals and medical centers.

“HCA Healthcare has been a dedicated partner to the University of North Florida for many years,” said UNF Interim President Pamela Chally. “This advanced simulation center will make such a difference providing the quality hands-on training needed to prepare our healthcare professionals.”

The center has eight individual simulation rooms, each with its own adjoining full-size control room equipped with state-of-the-art technology, to allow for real and authentic healthcare training experiences. The simulation rooms consist of two home care apartment set-up rooms with full kitchen and bathroom, one OR/ER flex room, a skills lab and regular rooms to be used for trauma, birthing and pediatrics. Manikins are used in each room that are fully functioning and can replicate multiple different simulated experiences. The center also has a complete learning system space for recording and video monitoring, as well as counseling and debriefing rooms.

"We are extremely excited about this partnership and how it will help educate future nurses that will stay in the Jacksonville area," said Dr. Nina Evans, DNP, RN, Chief Nursing Executive, HCA Healthcare South Atlantic Division. "This state-of-the-art facility will give nursing students and our colleagues a place to continue to develop their skills and knowledge base with the goal of providing excellent patient care."

The new Center will also provide a pathway for HCA Healthcare employees to enroll in a UNF certificate program offered by the University’s Division of Continuing Education and utilize the simulation center. Some HCA employees who are certified within their education division will also be invited to serve as UNF program instructors. These instructors will work in collaboration with Brooks College of Health faculty to develop the Clinical Advancement Certificate and Experiential Learning Program curriculum.

“We are so thankful to HCA Florida Healthcare for partnering with UNF on this advanced simulation center,” said Dr. Curt Lox, UNF Brooks College of Health dean. “As there continues to be a shortage of nurses, this simulation center will deliver authentic real-world experiences to educate and train the nurses of tomorrow.”

HCA Florida Healthcare has two hospitals in the Jacksonville area, HCA Florida Memorial Hospital and HCA Orange Park Hospital, along with five freestanding emergency rooms. A sixth free-standing ER will open in Middleburg later this year.