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From Maryland To South Africa, Nursing Simulation Grants Will Change Lives

The anguish of feeling helpless in the face of tragedy has never subsided for Montgomery College nursing student Goodness Ncanana. However, after learning the College was awarded two Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) grants totaling over $1.3 million to expand the work of the Maryland Clinical Simulation Resource Consortium (MCSRC), Ncanana found solace in knowing more families, like hers, would benefit.

Nursing Simulation Program Coordinator Dr. Rose Kronziah-Meme makes sure the mannequins are lifelike, including their hairstyles.

Today, Ncanana is a certified nursing assistant at a local hospital and just a few months shy of graduating with her third degree, an associate’s in nursing. She spends much of her time in the state-of-the-art Barbara L. Nubile Nursing Simulation Lab on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

Nursing simulation education uses life-sized mannequins as patients with a computerized interface and video component, allowing instructors to create realistic patient care scenarios and to teach students critical decision-making and patient care skills.

“The grant enables the Maryland Clinical Simulation Resource Consortium to train and support pre-license nursing faculty and staff in the use of simulation as a teaching pedagogy,” said Dr. Rose Kronziah-Meme, the College’s nursing simulation coordinator.

There was, however, a time in Ncanana’s life when she couldn’t run to someone’s aid if they were sick or injured. Over a decade ago, her brother was shot near their home in their native Durban, South Africa. Ncanana says she “just didn’t know what to do” for her dying brother, and it was a feeling she will carry forever. She vowed never to lack the knowledge it takes to help a person in need.

MC student Goodness Ncanana (center), program coordinator Dr. Rose Kronziah-Meme (left), and clinical instructor Latasha Cousar (right.)

“I saw him lying there, choking on his blood, yet I could not do anything to help him,” she recalls. “So to me, MC simulation is simply the best training out there. I work in a hospital, I know how it is structured, and the MC lab is just like being in the real hospital. Everything is being watched on camera, they know when a mistake is made and the instructors are on top of your every move.”

The MCSRC was created in July 2015 with support from NSP II, and is administered by the College’s nursing program to support Maryland’s 25 nursing schools. The additional funds will ensure that these nursing programs have access to simulation education equipment and training, supporting the NSP II goal of increasing the number of nursing graduates statewide.

The first NSP II grant of $1,266,050 funds MCSRC’s purchase of simulation equipment for pre-licensure nursing schools in need of additional resources. The second grant of $45,850 supports MCSRC’s efforts to train nursing faculty and staff in the use of simulation. Together, they will expand the capacity for nurse education in the state.

The grant enables the Maryland Clinical Simulation Resource Consortium to train and support pre-license nursing faculty and staff in the use of simulation as a teaching pedagogy – Dr. Rose Kronziah-Meme

The College’s nursing program enrolls more than 320 nursing students each fall and spring semester. Graduates obtain an associate’s degree in nursing and are prepared to deliver competent nursing care in a variety of health agencies under the supervision of experienced, qualified practitioners.

James Mitchell, simulation technology specialist, preps a mannequin for the nursing simulation lab.

“Simulation provides a safe learning environment for students and, as a result, an increase in the number of quality nurses that are ready to enter the workforce,” Kronziah-Meme said.

Ncanana says the death of her brother took a heavy toll on the overall health of her mother, the woman who she considers her personal hero. She died in 2005, not too long after her brother.

“My mother took care of everything for everybody, but she was still trying to be strong, she never let it out that she was sick… If I knew better, I would have seen it, I could have helped her,” says Ncanana, who has two children of her own and has earned both general studies and health education degrees at MC. “My mom was already studying to be a nurse when she passed away, always working for us and going to school… So to carry on her legacy, I decided to take it all the way. I’m going for my doctorate. She may not be here, but she will see me from heaven.”

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