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Mount Marty College opens new nursing center, simulation lab

YANKTON -- Mount Marty College has opened a new nursing center and simulation lab to provide hands-on training in a range of health care situations from basic health assessments to advanced life support.

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YANKTON - Mount Marty College has opened a new nursing center and simulation lab to provide hands-on training in a range of health care situations from basic health assessments to advanced life support.

The Yankton college's new Avera Nursing and Simulation Center held an open house this month to celebrate the facility's opening, the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reported .

"Our nursing program is something we're very proud of, but it's true that our facilities and technology haven't always kept up with the quality of education," said college President Marc Long. "That changes today."

The simulation rooms are set up to resemble an average hospital or clinic room, as well as a space similar to assisted-living quarters. Each room contains human-like dummies.

Alumna Jenny McGinnis, who's a nurse practitioner at the Yankton Medical Clinic, said the simulation aspect is being highlighted because it provides nursing students a chance to fail in a safe environment. The simulation experience will increase students' confidence and proficiency in patient care prior to graduation, she said.

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"I'd like to say that I came out (of the college) polished and shiny, but I wasn't," McGinnis said. "This gives our students an opportunity - especially in the review of their simulations - to see where they could improve."

The school has seen an uptick in freshmen enrolling as nursing students, said Dr. Mary Anne Krogh, the college's first Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences. Krogh believes the enrollment increase is in part due to the new simulation labs.

Avera Sacred Heart Hospital CEO and Regional President Doug Ekeren said the facility is important to the community.

"Nurses are at the core of this resource, but other disciplines - including physicians, nurse practitioners and EMTs - will benefit from this," Ekeren said. "But I think the real benefit will be for the future patients that will be serviced by folks that had the opportunity to use these resources. This is a critical improvement to ensure that there is adequate availability of trained, competent health care professionals in this region."

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