Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida have joined forces to create a new nursing simulation lab at the USF Health College of Nursing to offer advanced training for nurses as they prepare to join the health care workforce.
The hospital says is investing $4.4 million through six years to support the planning, construction and implementation of the new lab, which will be named the Tampa General Hospital USF Health College of Nursing Simulation Lab.
Rhea Law, USF president, says the "generous support from TGH will further strengthen our USF Health College of Nursing as we prepare nurses for successful careers and help fill an important workforce need in our communities."
The lab will include 12 clinical examination rooms, four simulation learning labs, a multipurpose learning lab, six high-fidelity simulation rooms, six debriefing classrooms and six control rooms, according to a Thursday news release by both entities.
USF and hospital officials say the simulated scenarios will enable nursing students to practice vital signs and patient safety, transitions of care, medicine administration safety, sepsis identification, communication with patients and family teaching, health assessment skills, prioritization of care, recognition of deteriorating patients, and calls for help.
Dr. Usha Menon, dean of the USF Health College of Nursing and senior associate vice president of USF Health, says the facility is a "contemporary simulation lab that provides all nursing undergraduate and graduate students with access to state-of-the-art equipment, credentialed faculty, and dedicated space to practice their clinical skills."
A key part of the program is to fill Florida's workforce with more nurses.
"Across the state and around the nation, we're facing a crisis when it comes to our nursing workforce," says John Couris, Tampa General Hospital CEO. "There will not be enough trained nurses to fill our need to care for patients. That’s why we’re expanding access to education and training for Tampa Bay nursing students – to grow our pipeline of essential health care professionals in this region."
With the new simulation lab, the hospital and USF are using the latest technologies "to ensure nurses are not just qualified, but also practiced and experienced in clinical situations," Couris says. "This advanced training will contribute to the exceptional care we provide at TGH and help further improve patient outcomes."
The state faces a shortage of about 59,000 nurses by 2035, according to a statewide analysis of the health care workforce conducted by the Florida Hospital Association.
"As the demand for nurses increases in Florida and across the country, it's important we endeavor to fill the talent pipeline with capable, dedicated and passionate nurses," says USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman.
The USF and Tampa General Hospital affiliation began in 1970, when the hospital became the primary teaching hospital for USF's Morsani College of Medicine and residency programs.
Tampa General Hospital has 1,040-beds. USF has about 50,000 students.