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High-tech simulation center trains nurses to serve North Florida’s health care needs

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Nurses have never been in greater demand, both in North Florida and across the country. And the need for highly qualified, well trained nurses will only continue to grow.

At AdventHealth Palm Coast, a leading-edge simulation center is using the latest technology to provide nurses, and future nurses, with the highest level of training.

AdventHealth Palm Coast simulation center

With five classroom labs that mimic patient rooms, the center provides training to nurses of various specialties, using interactive realistic manikins that simulate a range of health conditions and scenarios. Trainers, working from a central command center, can make the manikins “speak” and introduce new challenges that nurses then respond to.

For front-line caregivers, the highly realistic training is already paying off.

“Our regional simulation center has allowed our emergency department paramedics, techs and nurses to bring to life high-acuity clinical experiences such as obstetric emergencies and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a stress-free environment that translates to bedside confidence and competence,” said Rosa Coffey, clinical educator for the emergency department at AdventHealth Palm Coast.

“Critical care skills in the intensive care unit are essential to the patient’s best outcomes,” added Tracy Bowers, clinical educator for the critical care unit and progressive care unit. “The task trainers and technology in our simulation center afford the ICU nurses the opportunity to master evidenced based practice methods in a nonpunitive and fun approach.”

The center is also helping develop the next generation of health care workers, serving as a training site for nursing students from the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.

“The groundbreaking partnership and collaboration between AdventHealth and the City of Palm Coast creatively solved one of the biggest problems in health care ‑‑ the shortage of nurses,” said Karen Bowling, director of Global Partnerships at UNF MedNexus. “The establishment of the Sim Center helps to ensure we no longer turn away qualified candidates who want to become a nurse because of a lack of clinical training opportunities.”

Since January 2022, the center has trained just over 5,000 learners, including AdventHealth team members and student nurses – and that number will grow rapidly in the years ahead.

“With AdventHealth providing tremendous resources, including the state-of-the-art facility, along with experts in the simulation and training field, we have expanded our nursing program considerably and further support our nursing students with on-the-ground clinical skills building,” said Bowling.

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