Renovation of facility helps in teaching nursing students

Friday, April 12, 2019

Nursing students at SoutheastHEALTH's College of Nursing and Health Sciences are enjoying the benefits of a major renovation.

The work on the inside of the former bank building at 2001 William St. in Cape Girardeau is complete with three new classrooms, a student commons area, a student lounge and administrative offices.

A student study area, complete with tables and chairs, was built out of the former bank vault, said hospital spokeswoman Sally Owen.

The hospital offered a look at the facility at a recent open house.

The classrooms are equipped with screens and projectors to allow for more videos and other interactive teaching methods, said MLS clinical coordinator Lea White, according to a report in the Southeast Missourian. More digital equipment was added to the radiology department, meaning no more film for X-rays, and there is a "wet lab" where students can grow cultures and do experiments.

Also included in the renovations is a simulation lab, where students practice procedures on "SmMan", and advanced patient simulator.

The college's first class started in 1990. Since then, according to reporting by Marybeth Niederkorn, hundreds of students have earned certifications and degrees in areas of nursing including medical lab science, surgical technology, radiologic technology, a Registered Nurse program, and an RN-to-Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing program.

The college helps train nurses, obviously, but also helps the hospital system with recruiting and training.

"Without this college, this area would be in trouble for nurses," SoutheastHEALTH president and CEO Ken Bateman said.

Renovations can be disruptive, but in this case worth the wait for students wanting to become nurses. Skilled nurses are a vital part of our healthcare ecosystem. Like SoutheastHEALTH, Southeast Missouri State University is renovating Crisp Hall, where nursing students learn. Having facilities like this one (and at Southeast Missouri State University) are essential to keeping our local hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices staffed with qualified medical professionals.

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