The Air Evac Lifeteam (AEL) and Murray State College have entered into a partnership to enhance clinical simulation and emergency healthcare education for the crews of Air Evac Lifeteam in Oklahoma and the Murray State Nursing Program.

“Murray State in Ardmore has graciously offered a simulation lab for our education team to operate,” said Dan McLeod, AEL clinical practices educator and critical care flight paramedic. “The lab is utilized to train new flight clinicians and further educate current flight teams operating in Oklahoma.”

The simulation lab offers educators to enhance the scenarios that the teams will face, while also making Ardmore a centralized hub for clinical education in the AEL footprint. This location is also utilized for clinical practices meetings to develop education for the company, and act as the host location for an Oklahoma/Texas Clinical Simulation Competition.

“Our students come from all across the state of Oklahoma,” McLeod said. “Being able to have a central hub for training in Oklahoma helps save time and money. Most of our trainings are in other states, such as Arkansas and Texas. When you have students who live in western Oklahoma, it can be expensive for them to attend trainings in Arkansas.”

This partnership allows Murray State nursing students to interact with AEL Flight Nurses and be exposed to the pre-hospital career field. The AEL educators and flight clinicians can also teach courses related to the field for Murray State’s nursing classes. AEL flight paramedics will also be introduced to Murray State’s Career Mobility Program, a paramedic-to-nursing bridge program. The program is now ranked number one in the nation by for two consecutive years.

“This partnership focuses on strengthening healthcare availability in rural Oklahoma,” said DeAnn Priddy, Murray State College Nursing Program Director. “Our nursing students and their flight nurses are able to interact and learn from each other’s programs. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

AEL operates nearly 180 locations throughout the United States, with 18 bases in Oklahoma. More than 150 experienced flight clinicians are currently practicing in the state. A flight team is composed of flight paramedics and flight nurses. Flight nurses must have a minimum of three years of experience in the emergency room or intensive care unit. Flight paramedics must have three years of experience in Advanced Life Support ambulance transport. All flight clinicians complete a six-month orientation and are board-certified to practice in a critical care flight environment within a year of hire. 

“Having spent my entire career in rural Oklahoma and experiencing how opportunities like this one can positively change lives for generations,” said Murray State College President Dr. Tim Faltyn, “I know that this will help students who want to stay in rural Oklahoma and join nursing professions.”