SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Cox College is expanding its stimulation laboratory for nursing students thanks to CARES Act funding.

The funds will renovate and expand the current stimulation lab, which used to be the ICU unit for Cox.

Nursing students will be trained on critical equipment, so they are ready to help patients during and after the pandemic.

Lab mannequins are used in the lab to help students learn how to start IVs, give medications and take blood pressure.

There are cameras in each room, and the mannequins are operated from a separate control room.

“We are seeing a lot of students who thought they wanted to go into nursing and watching the pandemic and watching the response of the health systems not only in Springfield but across the nation has really solidified that is who they are and who they want to be which is a caregiver and a nurse for our patients,” said Amy Townsend, vice president of student nursing at Cox College.

The grant was nearly $2 million and was awarded by the Economic Development Administration.