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KSU-T unveils $1.23M nursing lab

Staff photo / R. Michael Semple Tammy King of Girard, a former Kent State teacher, left, and Debbie Moore of Cortland, president of the auxiliary at Trumbull Regional Medical Center, feel the “patient” located in the simulation room — controlled by an operator from a different room — while touring the new Kent State Trumbull nursing laboratory Monday.

CHAMPION — Kent State University at Trumbull unveiled a new nursing laboratory, designed to look like a hospital and make the transition from school to career seamless for students.

“This facility will only further our ability to offer first-class, affordable education to nursing students in Trumbull County and the Mahoning Valley,” said Daniel Palmer, interim dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State Trumbull.

“It is so important that we educate our students so that they’re ready to enter the field prepared to meet those challenges. This new laboratory will help us do that. And in helping us train the next generation of health care providers in our community, it really does help us serve the community as well,” he said.

The $1.23 million lab was fully funded by the university and is equipped with eight adult simulator beds, two pediatric simulator beds, IV simulators and three electric medication carts.

“These create real-life scenarios. They enable students to take care of the simulated patient in a hospital setting that mimics a clinical unit,” said Kathy Dwinnells, associate professor and Kent State Trumbull BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) coordinator. “We’ve come a long way. When I started here over 25 years ago, we did have a big vision of starting a lab, and throughout the years we’ve improved it, but we never had anything that we have today.”

Both Dwinnells and Barbara Broome, dean of Kent State University’s College of Nursing, said they are proud of this lab because when they were students, they didn’t have a lab — they had each other to practice on.

“It is the future of nursing. The Trumbull campus provides a great number of students and healthcare workers for our community. Those individuals are taking care of your families, your friends, your relatives, and they are doing an exceptional job,” Broome said.

Kent State University College of Nursing is one of the nation’s largest and most respected nursing schools and according to Broome, 41 percent of Ohio nurses come from the Kent program.

Jasmine Hickey, a junior in the nursing program, reflected on why she chose Kent State at Trumbull when applying for college. She wanted to go to a school that had the “pretty lab” but was reminded that it isn’t about the lab, it’s about what the program can offer.

I knew that the program itself would get me to where I needed to be. Now we have the best of both worlds, because we still have some of the best faculty that any college system could offer us, and now we also have the state-of-the-art lab,” said Hickey.

The students have been using the lab for a few weeks now and the faculty can already tell the students enjoy it.

“It is a great honor to be part of an institution with such dedicated and aspiring individuals. I know that those in our nursing program will use this laboratory well and that the entire community will bear the fruits of their labor as we continue to graduate nursing students to serve our community with knowledge, professionalism, and care,” Palmer said.

bshiller@tribtoday.com

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