KOKOMO, Ind. – Students in Indiana University Kokomo’s Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.) program hone their skills in a setting very similar to the offices they will serve, with the opening of the new Nursing Foundations Simulation Lab.
It’s the optimal atmosphere for the students, who will serve as primary health care providers after completing the program, according to Mary Steinke, program director.
“It gives them the ability to work in an environment that simulates the clinic they would serve as provider,” she said. “The privacy it gives them to treat patients professionally elevates their level of professionalism. It was nice before, but this just reminds them of the responsibility they have as health care professionals.”
Tuesday (November 5), faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters celebrated a $400,000 renovation of the former nursing skills lab, located on the second floor of the East Building. The 3,500-square-foot lab resembles a physician’s clinic, with five fully-equipped patient exam rooms.
There are two large-group instruction rooms as well, and an additional space with hospital beds and virtual patients, for students to practice treating patients under the supervision of a nursing faculty member.
It used to be an open space, with no privacy and no restrooms, both of which were needed for the family nurse practitioner (F.N.P.) program that launched in January 2017.
Dean Susan Hendricks noted the lab was updated to include current technology and equipment, and will be used not only by F.N.P. students, but undergraduates as well. The majority of nurses who graduate from IU Kokomo live and work in north central Indiana.
“When I think about that, and the impact this lab will have on our future health care professionals, I couldn’t be prouder of this space,” she said.
Leigh Swartzendruber, lecturer in nursing, teaches the health assessment class for first-semester nursing students in the lab, and said they are very excited about the updated space.
“It’s just like a doctor’s office,” she said. “It’s very professional, and state-of-the-art.”
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke praised nursing leaders for their vision in re-imagining the space, revitalizing one of the campus’s longest-running programs.
“IU Kokomo was really founded on nursing in the early days,” she said. “It has been one of our largest programs, and is the foundation of who we are. I am so proud of our 21st century nursing school, and the quality faculty members. The future is bright.”
Construction began in May 2019, and was completed August 15, in time for the fall semester.
Project design was led by KRM Architects and Heapy Engineering. Local contractors included Hearn Construction, Quality Plumbing & Heating, J&J Electric, and Graves Sheet Metal.
Naming opportunities are available in the School of Nursing and the Nursing Foundations Simulation Lab. For more information contact Jan Halperin, vice chancellor for university advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-455-9415.
Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.