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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

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