Teaching & Learning

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate Opening of State-of-the Art Advanced Nursing Education Suite

By Jennifer Payne |

USU nursing faculty train students to give injections, adjust oxygen rates, place feeding tubes, and start IVs thanks to lifelike medical manikins.

Utah State will formally open its Emma Eccles Jones Advanced Nursing Education Suite with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will include guided tours and light refreshments on June 10.

The state-of-the-art nursing education space allows the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program in Logan to double its current size, both in space and in student capacity. Now, a total of 60 students may be admitted into the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services' BSN program each year, 30 per semester. A total of 120 students will be enrolled in the BSN program at any given time.

In May 2022, extensive remodeling began of approximately 8,000 square feet of underutilized locker room space in the 1970s-era Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) building. The remodel not only made the new 5,000 square-foot nursing education suite possible, but a larger and more efficient swimming pool cage was added, the lobby space adjacent to the nursing suite and swimming pool area was updated, and two gender-neutral restrooms were installed. The USU Women’s Gymnastics team also received a new locker room.

The nursing suite provides not only classroom space but is designed to function like the floor of a hospital. It boasts four simulation rooms, a skills practice lab, a nurses’ station, a medication room, three briefing rooms and more.

“Adjacent to each simulation room is a control room with a one-way observation window. This allows faculty to observe student interactions with their ‘patient’ in real-time,” says Carma Miller, head of the USU Department of Nursing. “Faculty in the control room can adjust the manikin’s condition and speak through the manikin to create a lifelike patient situation for the students.”

The suite’s high-tech design provides students with invaluable practice in a risk-free environment. In each simulation room, a medical manikin that closely simulates human physiology and anatomy (including heartbeat and pulse) can breathe, respond to students’ interventions by changing vital signs, and even speak, moan or scream. Students give injections, adjust oxygen rates, place feeding tubes and start IVs. They interact with the manikins as if they are live patients, learning from mistakes and repeatedly practicing their clinical skills.

Students begin simulations by gathering in a briefing room, where they are briefed on the problems their patient is experiencing and are introduced to the patient scenario.

“Students play different roles in the simulation exercise, such as the nurse, an aide, or a distressed family member,” Miller says. “This gives them a better appreciation of the dynamics they’ll experience in the hospital.”

With the official opening of the suite, the USU Department of Nursing teaching and learning spaces will be split equally between the Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence (SCCE), which already has dedicated space for first-year nursing students, and the Advanced Nursing Education Suite in the HPER, where second-year students will receive their training.

The nursing program is a relatively recent addition to the Logan campus. For 46 years, from 1971 until 2017, Utah State University and the Weber State University School of Nursing offered a cooperative associate degree RN nursing program that successfully educated nurses and provided Northern Utah health care facilities with quality employees.

In 2017, the Logan campus opened its own Bachelor of Nursing program, followed by an RN to BSN online program in 2020. In addition to the Logan BSN programs, USU’s statewide campuses in Blanding, Moab, Price, Tooele, and Uintah Basin have nursing programs that offer an associate degree RN. Statewide campuses in Blanding, Moab and Price also have programs for LPN certification.

“Our students receive a high-quality education. We’ve been very creative with our program and have developed partnerships that give them varied and valuable experiences,” Miller says.

These partnerships give students in Logan a unique opportunity to accompany home health nurses and ride along with the fire department so they can observe emergency calls.

Student clinical rotation experiences extend from Logan to Salt Lake City and include rural and urban hospitals and health care systems. They also incorporate specialty hospitals like Primary Children’s Hospital and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

“USU nursing graduates are in demand,” Miller says. “Our students have been hired by Dartmouth Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Duke University hospitals. While most of them stay in Utah, they are very marketable across the United States.”

“A major benefit of the Logan BSN space expansion is that twice the number of nursing students can now be accepted to the BSN program,” Miller says. “There is a great need — both locally and nationally — for more nurses, and many students want to be ‘Aggie nurses.’ When you blend the two, it’s a winning combination.”

The HPER Emma Eccles Jones Advanced Nursing Education Suite ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 10 a.m. June 10 in the lobby adjacent to HPER 137. To RSVP for the event, visit usu.edu/ribboncutting. Tours of the suite will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The size of USU's BSN program will double with the opening of the Advanced Nursing Education Suite on the Logan campus.

WRITER

Jennifer Payne
Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services
Public Relations Specialist
jen.payne@usu.edu

CONTACT

Alicia Richmond
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services
alicia.richmond@usu.edu


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