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Since January 2013 the Mary Black School of Nursing at the University of South Carolina Upstate has received $350,000 in private support to update and improve its simulation center. Included in the Carolina’s Promise capital campaign, these gifts help the university move ever closer to reaching its campaign goal of $50 million by 2017. The Mary Black School of Nursing recently received grants from The Fullerton Foundation, the J M Smith Foundation and other community supporters to help expand the Simulation Center in the Health Education Complex.

Over the next several years, these funds will provide support to further advance the evolving Mary Black School of Nursing Patient Simulation Center into a full-fledged teaching center by providing furniture, technology and simulation equipment for four newly constructed medical bays where bedside monitors that connect to the control room will allow students to engage in single- or multi-level simulation activities. Software needed to record all four bays on one SimCapture program, as well as wiring for mannequin control, will also be installed. Additionally new hospital beds, birthing beds, medical medicine carts and bedside technology will be added to the Center.

Once completed, this teaching center will not only serve as a nursing school training facility, but will also provide training in advanced community partnership development.

“Because of these significant grants from our community partners, our nursing students will be one step closer to working in a clinical simulation center that mirrors the technology and layout of today’s hospital setting,” noted Bea Walters Smith, director of development and foundation scholarships at USC Upstate. “In the ever-changing world of medicine, science and technology, it is imperative that we create and provide the best educational environment for our students and healthcare community.”

The Simulation Center helps students in nursing programs at USC Upstate meet the goals and objectives toward earning the Bachelor of Science degree. Through the use of state-of-the-art technology, grants like these help the Simulation Center create an innovative learning environment that enriches the nursing and patient care training experience for students, faculty, and practicing nurses in the community.

As an example of community outreach, this summer the School of Nursing collaborated with the USC Upstate/BMW Manufacturing Academic Outreach Camp by incorporating a healthcare component for campers from area high schools. The students spent a day in the Simulation center learning about the impact of six sigma process improvement strategies in a variety of healthcare activities.

“As we reach out to the community with collaborative educational efforts, our Simulation Center enhances the expertise of healthcare professionals and students in the Upstate” according to Dr. Katharine M. Gibb, interim dean of the Mary Black School of Nursing.

The Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate, fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing, is one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded nursing institutions offering a four-year degree, as well as the largest baccalaureate nursing program and the largest RN-BSN nursing program in South Carolina.

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