Recruitment center brings mobile sim lab to Philadelphia schools

March 18, 2010

Penn State Mont Alto’s nursing department took their mobile simulation laboratory (mobile sim lab) on the road during a recent visit to Philadelphia high schools. This is not your ordinary college exposure opportunity. Students from the Health Tech program at Cardinal Dougherty High School and the Health Academy at Abraham Lincoln High School had an opportunity to board a 32-foot Winnebago that is a classroom on wheels. The mobile classroom is equipped with iStan, a human patient simulator. The iStan is a state-of-the-art mannequin that moves, breathes, lives and dies realistically to give students as close to a real human experience as possible.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses (RNs) are the largest health care occupations, with 2.6 million jobs. Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. The visit to the local high schools by the Mont Alto Nursing department’s mobile simulation lab was coordinated by the local Penn State Philadelphia Community Recruitment Center as part of their ongoing efforts to introduce public, charter, private and parochial school students to the options and opportunities that Penn State has to offer. “When students apply to Penn State, one of the more popular majors selected is nursing. This type of college exposure helps students make informed decisions about careers in health care,” said Carolyn Boswell, director for the recruitment center. The Penn State School of Nursing features two-year and four-years educational programs. The associate degree program is offered at five campuses, and the registered nursing to bachelor of science nursing program is available at 10 campuses.

Launched in the fall of 2009, the Mobile Sim Lab has been used for continuing education, recruitment and community outreach. The patient simulator mannequin iStan made his television debut on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Mont Alto nursing students and local healthcare practitioners benefit from his use to improve their diagnostics and critical care skills. “There are only a handful of mobile simulation labs in the state of Pennsylvania. We want to spread the word about the nursing program at the Mont Alto campus and to highlight what we have to offer students from Philadelphia,” said Michael Harp, director of enrollment management at Mont Alto. Harp added, “It’s also a cool tool to engage students.”

For more information on iStan, a product of METI, visit online.

  • Cardinal Dougherty students examine iStan

    IMAGE: Cyncoya Dillingham

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010