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Georgia expected to have a 21% shortage of registered nurses by 2035; see how new manikins at VSU will help

Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-19 17:48:29-04
  • Valdosta State's nursing program has added manikins that exhibit human feelings and behaviors.
  • The program received a $446,000 grant to make student practice-ready.
  • Watch the video to hear from students about how this help patient healthcare.


What you see here looks like a patient in a hospital, but what you're actually seeing is a nursing simulator.

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta, and I'm speaking with nursing students at Valdosta State to see how this new tech improves patient care.

"I just like helping people."

Dillon Jones is a first-year student at VSU and is currently stationed at Moody Air Force base.

He wants to use his skills in his military service.

"I always wanted to do something that was helpful in the military…I saw that the military would pay my way through school, so I figured it would be a win-win for me."

Away from the battle field, he's pursing a career in the nursing field, and working with VSU's simulators to get some real-world experience with his future patients.

"We're doing SIM lab or simulation lab. They're not real patients, but real enough manikins to give us some vital signs and things like that. We're just taking care of them."

These manikins are life-like human patient simulators mimic human anatomy and physiology and realistic patient environments.

VSU was able to get them through a $446,000 grant from The Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce to address a potential nursing shortage.

Georgia is expected to have a 21% shortage of registered nurses by 2035, the second highest estimated shortage in the nation, and, the state wants to prepare future nurses as much as they can.

"We want them to see the train wreck before it happens, so we want them to be able to anticipate what's fixing to happen and intervene before it happens."

Michele Blankenship is the assistant professor of nursing and director of simulation at VSU.

She tells me these simulations help with clinical confidence and reduces anxiety.

Something Dillon says has helped him tremendously.

"It just kind of gets me into that mindset of 'Hey, this could happen' and having it to where its not so scripted."

43% of the nursing field in Georgia is already over 50 and nearing retirement, making these advancements in nursing more important than ever. I'm Malia Thomas, reporting for ABC27.