The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Simulation in Motion-Nebraska program (SIM-NE) recognized its 5000th trainee at the Valley County Health System in Ord, Nebraska, on March 21, 2019.

Jane Meyer, a nurse practitioner of the Valley County Health System in Ord, is the 5000th trainee. The SIM-NE team presented her with a commemorative plaque, as well as merchandise from SIM-NE and the Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning (iEXCELSM) at UNMC.

SIM-NE is a statewide, mobile education system that takes state-of-the-art, hands-on training to emergency medical service (EMS) providers in rural areas across the state, including health professionals in hospitals. SIM-NE provides free training using four, 44-foot-long, customized trucks that supply mobile, real-life experiences designed to enhance lifesaving skills for those in rural areas. It has trained personnel in 87 of 93 Nebraska counties.

SIM-NE’s four trucks were launched in 2017 and stationed in Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Kearney and Lincoln. Rather than having learners travel to larger cities, the training is at the request of rural emergency medical service agencies and critical access hospital staff and is done in their communities. This also allows training to be team-based as learners train side-by-side with the people they normally work with during a response.

The customized trucks feature dual slide-out room extensions, a simulated emergency room and ambulance, a control room, as well as high-tech, computerized patient simulators that talk, breathe, have heartbeats, and can react to medications and other actions of the learners. 

Each mobile unit is equipped to recreate a realistic environment for learners including: medical supplies; pre-programmed computerized medical and trauma scenarios; monitors that display vital signs of patient simulators; heart monitors/defibrillators; audio and video recording/playback capabilities and mock drugs.

SIM-NE is part of UNMC’s iEXCELSM initiative, a transformative program being created to revolutionize health care education and training. The goal is to improve quality and safety and reduce costs of patient care through practicing, honing and improving patient care skills using simulation before encountering real patients, as well as learning to work as high-functioning teams.

SIM-NE was initially funded with a $5.5-million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Current sources of funding come from private funds raised in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation and carryover funds through a no-cost extension from The Helmsley Charitable Trust and training partnerships. SIM-NE continues to develop a long-term sustainability plan to ensure free, accessible training throughout the state to EMS providers and critical access hospitals.