Message from the Dean

Message from the Dean

School of Nursing celebrates technology gifts

Happy New Year to all! I imagine many of you and your family members received some technology gifts over the holidays. Maybe you received an Amazon Echo enabled with the Alexa Voice Service that answers all your questions or maybe you got your first iPhone or Kindle E-reader. At first, you might have been a bit intimidated by learning how to use such technology, but once you caught on, you wondered how you lived so long without these items.

Right before the holiday break, the School of Nursing received a wonderful gift of $250,000 for our nursing students from one of our longtime donors, the Bufford Family Foundation and Trilogy Health Services. We are ever so grateful to Randy Bufford, CEO of Trilogy Health Services, for his generosity through this gift.

These funds will be used to renovate and upgrade our on-campus learning labs for the creation of the Trilogy Health Services Simulation LabThese funds also will allow the school to add more space for on-campus clinical learning through room renovations and to purchase another high-fidelity simulation mannequin.

Our students are highly invested in using all types of technology in their daily lives. More importantly, they will be faced with multiple, complex technologies throughout their nursing careers, particularly if working in the hospital or high-tech outpatient settings. Today’s students are frequently referred to as “digital natives” and they relish the opportunity to work with our faculty in safe protected on-campus labs to learn and practice complex nursing skills for high acuity and near-death patient experiences. Faculty and staff can program the mannequins to have difficulty breathing, a seizure or even a sudden heart attack. Practicing on a lifelike mannequin who can talk, breathe and have increased heart rate and blood pressure allows students to make sound clinical decisions under the guidance and direction of our experienced faculty and staff.

At times, students are almost brought to tears when they realize the gravity of their clinical decisions they might later make in real-life settings when they graduate from our program, as either a new registered nurse or nurse practitioner.

As we continue to increase our enrollment, we find the need to augment our in-patient hospital learning with on-campus lab learning in other areas. Several of our faculty who teach maternity and women’s health are interested in purchasing a birthing simulator. Our students need to see and assist with an actual birth during their nursing education, but sometimes mothers do not always deliver during students’ scheduled learning time in the hospital. Therefore, we will raise funds to purchase a birthing simulator that costs close to $100,000.

On a date to be determined in mid-May, the School of Nursing will host a Baby Shower to raise funds for the birthing simulator. More information about the event will be shared on the school’s Facebook page and website. If you are not able to attend the fundraiser, you can always make a gift to the school via our website

Be a geek donor to help our students best learn!

Dean Marcia Hern