The Department of Nursing at California State University, Fresno has received $174,356 from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration to purchase equipment to enhance training and professional development for health care professionals.

These funds will be used to purchase new equipment for a regional simulation center within the College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State, said Dr. Michael Russler. The center, or “Sim Lab,” will open in the spring 2011 to provide  students practical, hands-on experience in functions they will be expected to master in their nursing careers.

The collaborative project combines state and philanthropic support. A gift from the estate of Alpheda Knorr, who was head nurse supervisor of operating rooms at Valley Medical Center in Fresno, helped construct the nursing skills simulation laboratory.

“This is a significant addition to an important teaching and training resource that will benefit students, nurses and health professionals across the region,” said Dr. Andrew Hoff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

The facility will provide clinical training for students from nursing programs throughout the central San Joaquin Valley, as well as school nurses, employees of healthcare institutions and others.

“The Department of Nursing has been instrumental in educating nursing faculty throughout the region and this advanced technology will enhance our ability to train the next generation of educators for the community colleges and universities within the San Joaquin Valley,” Russler said.