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HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement at UNF state-of-the-art simulation center opening celebration

HCA simulation lab ribbon cuttingThe University of North Florida and HCA Florida Healthcare, a leading operator of healthcare facilities in Florida, announce the opening of the HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement at the University of North Florida, a fully interdisciplinary simulation center that will provide quality, hands-on training for Brooks College of Health nursing students.

To help meet the growing need for clinically trained healthcare and nursing professionals, approximately 150 to 200 unique nursing students will be rotated through the new simulation center beginning this fall. The nursing students are in various levels (beginning, intermediate, and advanced) of UNF’s prelicensure BSN curriculum and will be performing fundamentals, assessments, pediatric, women’s health and professional nursing simulations. The goal is to expand the program to include advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) students in future semesters.

“This simulation center is a game-changer for how UNF educates our nursing students allowing them to practice hands-on best techniques and learn all levels of care through a safe, simulated medical environment,” said Dr. Curt Lox, UNF Brooks College of Health dean. “With the hands-on training, our nursing students will be better prepared and more confident to enter their clinical rotations and, ultimately, to enter the workforce as skilled nursing practitioners.”

The simulation training provides students with a safe and structured environment to acquire new skills, learn from their mistakes and prepare for the clinical setting. Simulations will be designed to teach, evaluate and test students to ensure they can apply critical knowledge and skills.

“We are dedicated to training the nurses of tomorrow and giving our current colleagues access to continuing education and training,” said Dr. Nina Evans, DNP, RN chief nursing executive, HCA Healthcare South Atlantic Division. “This simulation center is really like a miniature hospital. It’s as close to the real thing as you can get. “

The new simulation center has eight individual simulation rooms, including two designed for home healthcare settings, one birthing suite, one toddler/newborn suite, and one emergency room/trauma bay. In addition, the center will have a separate operating room and a large six-bed skills lab space, six counseling and debriefing rooms and multiple classrooms outfitted with the latest technology. Manikins used in each room are fully functioning and can replicate multiple simulated experiences.

The simulation center is located within the UNF MedNexus facility at Deerwood, which was funded through an appropriation from the Florida Legislature. UNF MedNexus is designed to meet growing healthcare needs in Florida through collaboration, innovation and providing a pathway for students to find healthcare positions.

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.