Classes to Begin in Nursing Building in Fall 2015

Photos by Steve Fallon

Starting in the fall semester, students will begin to see “AC” on their schedules under class location. The “AC” stands for Adler Center for Nursing Excellence, a $54 million renovation that is soon to be completed after nearly three years of construction.

The Adler Center for Nursing Excellence and the first and second floor of the G-wing are predicted to be open during the summer, making them available to hold classes and labs in the fall semester. The completion of the building will also open up the walkway to the E-wing and the Visitor’s Circle, two features of the College that have been blocked since construction began in October of 2012. All of the benches and trees that previously lined the walkway have been saved and will be placed back and replanted once construction is completed.

The nursing building itself is designed in clean whites, blues and yellows, much like the top floors of the G-wing, and will house faculty offices, two computer labs, general purpose classrooms and new simulation labs – the main feature of the building.

“We have a Chevrolet simulation lab,” said Edward Saiff, dean of the school of Theoretical and Applied Science, of the old simulation labs. “This is the Rolls Royce.”

There will be three separate rooms for critical care, maternal-child and medial and surgical procedure simulations. Three top-of-the-line dummies have been ordered for students to perform realistic procedures on. The dummies are equipped to undergo nearly any kind of medical emergency; everything that can be monitored on a real patient can be monitored on the dummies.

“They can bleed, they can turn blue, they can have a seizure, they can have a fever, they sweat, they can talk,” said Dr. Kathleen Burke, assistant dean of nursing programs. “The control room is back there. We may be sitting back there with the microphone watching the students on a monitor and all of a sudden we may want the dummy to do something or scream or say something to the nurse, and we can be the voice.”

Near the simulation labs will be debriefing rooms, where students can view their procedure to judge their performance during the simulation.

“What happens is when you do full-scale simulations we film them, so students can then see how they performed in an actual situation. If there’s a problem, the student can see how they reacted, if they reacted appropriately,” said Burke.

Other than the full simulation labs, there will be five “low-fidelity” simulation rooms, where students can practice basic, non-emergency practices. All of the simulation labs look similar to a standard hospital room.

Other features the building includes are lockers, identical indoor and outdoor stairwells that lead to the bottom floor, a café and benches built into the walls of the building.

“We said to the architects, we just can’t have people sitting on the floors anymore,” explained Burke.

Essentially, the opening of the nursing building will allow classes, specifically for nursing students, to spread out. Because of the construction, classrooms, faculty offices and labs have been being shared for years. Now, more offices will be available for the faculty, the School of Social Science and Human Services will settle into the G-wing and the current simulation labs will most likely be turned into general purpose classrooms. The classrooms in the new building will be made available to nursing classes first, but opened up to others programs to use, as well.

“The space that we have upstairs is made for 40 students,” said Burke of the nursing program’s current classrooms and labs. “We have 500.”

According to Burke and Saiff, the trailers are also likely to be removed now that the nursing building is to open, one over the summer and the other after the fall semester. As of now, there are no plans to increase the number of students in the nursing program or the number of faculty, due to the increase in space.