New life for deserving BCC program

Sunday, March 08
The recent announcement of the opening of the new Barbara A. Nichols Arts Center located in Melville Hall at Berkshire Community College is a breath of fresh air for the nursing program. The Smart Classroom holds approximately 50 students, while the nursing lab boasts of six clinical bays, including two recently acquired simulation manikins, also known as Sim Men. The environment is esthetically pleasing and conducive to learning. Classrooms are used by LPN and RN students.

Anna Foss, Assistant Dean for Nursing Health and Social Science, proudly gave a demonstration of their newest clinical additions, adult and pediatric Sim Men. She explained that the pre-programmed Sim Men discs were created by faculty members and contain specifically designed illness scenarios used to enrich the clinical practice and critical thinking skills of their nursing students. Students come away with a better understanding of nursing concepts and evidenced-based practice, which is essential when a patient's health begins to deteriorate. The Sim lab experience encourages students to interact with the patient, family members and the health care team; therefore, incorporating a holistic approach to health care by preparing student nurses to become strong patient advocates.

In addition to the new lab, Elizabeth Kassel, director of nursing, was eager to demonstrate the Smart Classroom technology made available to the nursing program through this foundation. This technology allows immediate access to online sites making the most of planned nursing curriculum and classroom hours. The ability to immediately view inviting graphics or listen to heart and lung sounds adds credibility and excitement to the nursing curriculum.

It is quite evident that students and faculty in the health care field require advanced technology to remain on track with current health care trends. By supporting and strengthening our nursing program we demonstrate our understanding of the need for well trained, confident nurses to assist in maintaining the wellness of our community.

It is BCC's intent to accept the best of the best into its nursing program with a plan to always offer its students incentives to grow. It is important to remember that the BCC nursing program continues to excel through the efforts of dedicated staff and all those with a keen interest in the advancement of the nursing profession. Faculty and students entering the Barbara A. Nichols Arts Center are embracing the surge of new technology; making the most of opportunities made available to them. As a nursing professional, I am proud to say that this endowment has injected new life into a deserving program.

It is imperative that we offer our nursing students the best that teaching and technology has to offer at this critical juncture. The Barbara A. Nichols Arts Center couldn't have come at a better time.


The writer is a registered nurse.


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