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Penn College Dedicates Nursing Education Center

On May 10, during National Nurses Week, Pennsylvania College of Technology dedicated its Nursing Education Center.

The Nursing Education Center occupies the first floor of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Science Center’s west wing. The facility contains 10 dedicated classrooms and seven learning labs serving more than 350 students enrolled in nursing majors at the college.

“The Penn College nursing program began in 1963 with a certificate in practical nursing; today, we offer associate and bachelor’s degrees in support of an increasing demand for highly qualified nursing professionals,” said President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Our nursing degrees incorporate Penn College core values, typified by hands-on instruction and a student-centered learning environment. These expanded and consolidated facilities enable us to produce more graduates for this rewarding career field.”

Cutting the “ribbon” to dedicate the Penn College Nursing Education Center are, from left, Dottie M. Mathers, associate professor of medical-surgical nursing; Sandra L. Richmond, director of nursing; Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences; President Davie Jane Gilmour; and student Monica A. Flexer, president of the Penn College Student Nurses' Association.
Cutting the “ribbon” to dedicate the Penn College Nursing Education Center are, from left, Dottie M. Mathers, associate professor of medical-surgical nursing; Sandra L. Richmond, director of nursing; Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences; President Davie Jane Gilmour; and student Monica A. Flexer, president of the Penn College Student Nurses Association.

The nursing program was formerly housed on the second floor of the Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, sharing the west wing of the floor with four other majors in the college’s School of Health Sciences.

The expansion has allowed the college to accept more students into its nursing majors and to make room for more realistic hands-on educational experiences.

Among the technology available for student learning are five high-fidelity mannequins, also called “patient simulators,” which are programmable to imitate real conditions.

The mannequins allow students to assess lung and heart sounds, for example, of patients with cardiovascular or respiratory disease. Included in each simulation room is a large-screen television that displays the “patient’s” vital signs. Students practice their skills with two adult “SimMan” simulators, as well as SimMom (a pregnant patient), SimJunior (a pediatric patient) and VitaBaby, an infant.

A video and audio recording system, called SimView, is in place, as well, allowing the nursing educator to run a patient simulation and observe students from a remote location. In addition, students practice their skills on 35 static mannequins.

“I am extremely proud of the quality educational experience our students receive here at Penn College,” said Sandra L. Richmond, director of nursing. “The technology resources and highly qualified faculty we have to support student achievement parallel that of programs in larger cities like Philadelphia. Our graduates are sought after by employers months prior to graduation and receive nursing positions in a variety of settings including high-acuity patient areas like the intensive care unit. That in itself speaks to the confidence employers have in our graduates.”

Those speaking at the dedication were Gilmour; Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences; and Penn College nursing alumni Wayne E. Reich, ’09 and ’03; Dallas J. Riley, ’15; and Ruth E. (Day) Smith, ’05 and ’04.

Reich, who earned associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing, is a part-time clinical instructor in the college’s nursing program and principle of Reiway Consulting. Riley received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the college. She is employed by Geisinger in the adult intensive care unit. Smith holds two associate degrees and a practical nursing certificate from the college. She part of Evangelical Community Hospital’s Wound and Hyperbaric Medicine team.

“The college’s support for our highly regarded nursing program has provided us with new nursing faculty, new facilities and high-tech labs and resulted in very favorable student achievement results on licensure exams and in program completion and job placement,” Henninger said. “Our nursing program dedication not only commemorates our past accomplishments but our commitment to regularly exceeding the ever-changing expectations for quality, evidence-based nursing education and practice.”

Penn College offers four nursing degrees: an associate degree in health arts: practical nursing emphasis; an associate degree in nursing; a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing; and an online bachelor-degree completion major for those who already hold registered nurse licensure.

In compliance with the standards of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, all of the Penn College Nursing Program’s full-time faculty hold master’s degrees, and more than 25 percent of the faculty in its bachelor-degree majors hold doctorates.

Following comments and a ribbon-cutting, nursing faculty and students conducted tours of the Nursing Education Center.

The American Nurses Association is celebrating National Nurses Week 2016 from May 6-12.

To learn more about nursing majors at Penn College, call 570-327-4519.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

– Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

President Davie Jane Gilmour offers perspective on the role of nursing education in the college’s history and the continued importance of the program.
President Davie Jane Gilmour offers perspective on the role of nursing education in the college’s history and the continued importance of the program.

Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences and master of ceremonies for the event, addresses invited guests.
Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences and master of ceremonies for the event, addresses invited guests.

Nursing instructors Dulcey J. Messersmith (standing next to mannequin), and Joni J. Pyle (seated), describe how electronic patient simulator SimMom is used to introduce students to complications that may occur during labor and delivery.
Nursing instructors Dulcey J. Messersmith (standing next to mannequin), and Joni J. Pyle (seated), describe how electronic patient simulator SimMom is used to introduce students to complications that may occur during labor and delivery.

A student is available to answer tour-goers’ questions.
A student is available to answer tour-goers’ questions.

Ruth E. (Day) Smith, who earned degrees in 2004 and 2005, shares memories of her Penn College experience. Smith, a certified wound care nurse, is RN coordinator for Evangelical Community Hospital’s Wound and Hyperbaric Medicine outpatient center.
Ruth E. (Day) Smith, who earned degrees in 2004 and 2005, shares memories of her Penn College experience. Smith, a certified wound care nurse, is RN coordinator for Evangelical Community Hospital’s Wound and Hyperbaric Medicine outpatient center.

Nursing students listen to the words of graduates.
Nursing students listen to the words of graduates.

Sandra L. Richmond (in white coat on right), director of nursing, welcomes guests to tour the center.
Sandra L. Richmond (in white coat on right), director of nursing, welcomes guests to tour the center.

Dallas J. Riley, ’15, a registered nurse in Geisinger’s Adult Intensive Care Unit, describes how her nursing education prepared her for her current role.
Dallas J. Riley, ’15, a registered nurse in Geisinger’s Adult Intensive Care Unit, describes how her nursing education prepared her for her current role.

Wayne E. Reich, ’09 and ’03, a part-time instructor in Penn College’s nursing program, discusses the values he learned as a student.
Wayne E. Reich, ’09 and ’03, a part-time instructor in Penn College’s nursing program, discusses the values he learned as a student.

Diane L. Smith, assistant director of nursing, smiles at the remarks offered by nursing alumni.
Diane L. Smith, assistant director of nursing, smiles at the remarks offered by nursing alumni.

SimMom’s newborn is an important part of the exercises.
SimMom’s newborn is an important part of the exercises.

Laurie A. Minium, assistant professor of nursing, talks with guests about SimMan 3G.
Laurie A. Minium, assistant professor of nursing, talks with guests about SimMan 3G.

Tina M. Kline (next to mannequin), assistant professor of nursing, describes the functions of SimMan 3G.
Tina M. Kline (next to mannequin), assistant professor of nursing, describes the functions of SimMan 3G.

Students can check SimMan’s dilating pupils to check their “patient’s” responsiveness to light.
Students can check SimMan’s dilating pupils to check their “patient’s” responsiveness to light.

Pyle programs SimMom’s heart rate, breathing, and verbal response.
Pyle programs SimMom’s heart rate, breathing, and verbal response.

Nursing students check the heart rate of SimJunior, a pediatric patient simulator.
Nursing students check the heart rate of SimJunior, a pediatric patient simulator.

Surrounded by student nurses, Minium changes SimMan’s settings.
Surrounded by student nurses, Minium changes SimMan’s settings.

Instead of ribbon, officials cut a line of gauze tied to two IV poles.
Instead of ribbon, officials cut a line of gauze tied to two IV poles.

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