SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Nursing students at Augustana now have access to new and better equipment thanks to a $440,000 grant.

Augustana nursing students are using new simulation equipment in class.

“We got several high-fidelity and mid-fidelity mannequins. We got a defibrillator. We got a couple of ultrasound machines, and then we got several different procedural task trainers,” says nursing program director Lynn White.

The upgrade is thanks to a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“In order to qualify for the grant, we had to show that we were using the equipment to provide education for the students, so the ultimate goal is to increase the nursing workforce in the state of South Dakota,” says White.

Students will get the opportunity to work with the manikins before they ever have to work with real patients.

“It’s quite nice for when we’re trying to listen to heart sounds and lung sounds, to hear the different ones. That way when we go to clinicals, you can actually see the difference or go like ‘I heard this before’,” says first year nursing student Tyler Sellin.

“In the simulation lab, the students have to think through the processes on their own and have to be able to stop themselves before they make errors or before they maybe do something that isn’t so safe,” says White.

Sellin is excited for how it will prepare him for his future career.

“I’m not as nervous going into clinical on actual people and thinking, ‘How do I know if this is wrong?’ Or ‘I know this is right,’ the manikins are a way to help me be prepared beforehand,” says Sellin.

The previous equipment was nearing the end of its usefulness and was getting old.

The new equipment will be used by both undergraduate and graduate students.