Lipscomb University officially opens new Nursing and Health Sciences Center

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Lipscomb University officially opened its new 24,800-square-foot Nursing and Health Sciences Center today with a dedication ceremony and tours of the high-tech health care training facility that can also be used as an emergency triage center in times of crisis.

Nashville Health Care Council President Caroline Young and Memorial Foundation President J.D. Elliott joined Lipscomb’s Roger Davis, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Beth Youngblood, executive associate dean of the School of Nursing; and President L. Randolph Lowry, to celebrate the opening of the new facility, which includes a 14-bed assessment skills lab, a 16-bed health simulation lab and two lecture halls large enough for 102 students.

“This new facility will prepare Lipscomb’s next generation of health science professionals to serve the global community in a way they are crying out for,” said Davis. “This center will be the focal point for educational activities for all our health science students. The work that will be done in this building is just the beginning of a new phase in Lipscomb’s already impressive reputation for preparing students for careers in the health sciences,”

The $8.5 million Lipscomb Nursing and Health Sciences Center was constructed by D.F. Chase, with Tuck Hinton as architects and Barge Waggoner as the engineering firm.

The building will be a site for traditional classroom learning as well as the teaching of assessment skills in a dedicated laboratory and treatment skills in a 16-bed unit which simulates a hospital environment. The Health Simulation Lab features 19 computerized mannequins, that can display symptoms of a range of illnesses and wounds, in an authentic hospital-like setting.

“Our new building sends the message that Lipscomb is a stand-alone bachelor’s nursing program that can match any other program around,” said Youngblood. “It really has the feel of a true hospital unit. We are able to do high-fidelity simulations for our students, meaning we will use interactive simulators that can respond to our interventions and change their course of care.  And we can also videotape the entire scenario for analysis later.”

The patient mannequins can bleed, vomit, cough, suffer cardiac arrest, display abnormal heart and breath sounds, give birth and respond to specific treatments. There are infant and child mannequins as well as adult males and females and one patient simulator that displays a range of cardiac problems.

The facility is so well-equipped that in the event of a disaster on campus or in the community it can be converted into a 30-bed triage and stabilization site for patients prior to being transported to higher levels of care.

Classrooms and collaborative learning spaces are large enough to allow the rapidly growing nursing program to triple in size from around 30 student nurses per year to around 100 per year. The upcoming Class of 2014 already includes 79 student nurses, an increase from 36 in the Class of 2013.

The 14-station assessment skills lab will be used to practice physical assessment and diagnostic skills and to learn immunization techniques, safety methods and CPR.

This facility is part of the university’s Lipscomb:Next initiative to invest $125 million dollars in the university by its 125th anniversary in 2016. Students in Lipscomb’s nursing, pharmacy, kinesiology and exercise and nutrition science programs will all pass through the doors of this new academic building.

"I appreciate the generations of health sciences faculty who have helped generations of students prepare to enter the health care field. In this program, we seek to educate people to be competent and to have character and compassion. That is part of the holistic approach of the Lipscomb education," Said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry at the dedication ceremony.

Besides opening a new facility, 2012 is also a hallmark year for the Lipscomb School of Nursing with a new program head – Youngblood, who came to Lipscomb this past summer – and its largest group of student nurses ever, with 114 nursing majors and 180 students who have declared pre-nursing as their major. The school now has a faculty of 58, including adjuncts and experiential instructors.