A $2 million gift will modernize the Michigan State University College of Nursing’s technology and simulation spaces, ensuring that students’ training includes the most up-to-date equipment in the high-demand field of nursing.
MSU alumna of 1965 Nancy Grosfeld and her husband, Jim, provided the gift, which will be phased in over three years. The gift includes funds for advanced high-fidelity patient simulators — lifelike manikins (infant, pediatric and adult) that can mimic and display a full range of neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory physiological responses; a large technology-supported display that allows students to interact with a virtual library of anatomical images to advance their understanding of the human body and facilitate diagnostic decision-making; virtual reality and immersive interactive simulation projection equipment; and other investments.
“My husband, Jim, and I wanted to direct our gift to a department that was experiencing a shortage of important qualified professionals in the field,” said Grosfeld. “In selecting the simulation program specifically, we felt it would provide valuable lifelike clinical experiences for the students and allow the College of Nursing to expand and grow with the use of new technology and state-of-the-art simulation equipment.”
As a student, Grosfeld initially pursued a career in social work before going on a field trip with a group of nursing students. She said the experience was so impactful that she decided on a new career path and called her time at MSU an “invaluable educational experience.”
“MSU’s 2030 strategic plan drives us to enhance health for all those around us and to improve the systems that support health care,” said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “In order to do that, we must improve how health care education is delivered. We are grateful for the generosity of Nancy and Jim Grosfeld, which is bringing the most promising educational technology to prepare nursing students for careers on the front lines of health care.”
Some of the new simulators are so lifelike, they will offer students opportunities to engage with realistic “patients,” that cry, blink and even sweat, among other physiological responses.
“These new simulators will enhance students’ educational experience and help us prepare them better for real-life scenarios where critical decisions need to be made in seconds,” said Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MSU executive vice president for Health Sciences, adding that meeting the future nursing needs of Michigan residents requires an increase in the number of nurses being trained. “Enhancing our simulation facilities is a critical component of meeting this imperative. This gift also demonstrates how the commitment of an individual who in fact is a nurse, Nancy Grosfeld, can come together with the goals of MSU to make an extraordinary difference.”
The college is already in the process of acquiring the new equipment, which is planned to be in place by fall. Additional items funded through the gift include a medication dispenser station, simulated automated external defibrillator, or AED system, and structural improvements like cabinets and headwall units that will create a realistic clinical environment.
“The MSU College of Nursing is very thankful to the Grosfelds for this transformational investment in our college and future nursing professionals,” said College of Nursing Dean Leigh Small. “We believe that by having this new technology and updated simulation spaces we can augment real-world clinical opportunities students experience and best prepare students for their future professional role. The ability to provide high quality, realistic simulation also will allow us to increase student enrollment to meet the critical need for professional nurses.”
Undergraduate nursing student Alexa Bowles said her peers will benefit immediately from the gift.
“The college provides us with different opportunities to interact with some of our manikins, for example,” said Bowles. “We practice a lot of our skills on these, which will then translate into the hospital setting. So this donation will mean more opportunities for students to be working right at the bedside with these manikins and this will help them feel more prepared to work with new patients in the hospital.”
In addition to the new technology that will be added thanks to this gift, the college recently expanded the Granger Simulation Lab footprint by 42%. Furthermore, in April, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the planning process for a new interprofessional health education building that will feature a new dedicated simulation space for the College of Nursing, including housing any new equipment funded by the gift.