SCC Receives $500,000 Grant

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

On April 2, 2020 the Golden Leaf Foundation announced $12.2 million funding in support of projects through community-based grant initiatives across North Carolina. Southeastern Community College received $500,000 to support nursing and health technology programs by providing equipment and supplies to create a simulated hospital environment for nursing and health sciences students.   

Gail Auten, Nursing instructor and sim lab coordinator, SCC, was the grant writer for the proposal submitted to the Golden Leaf Foundation.  The proposal requested $500,000 to enhance the current simulation lab by creating a more realistic hospital environment, providing students with experiences that parallel the clinical setting.  

Funds will contribute to a comprehensive plan for the college and county as Nursing and EMS/Paramedic students will network with CRHS healthcare members during realistic patient scenarios to enhance their skills in inter-professional team collaboration.  Simulation is extremely effective in providing students with clinical experiences that are not always available.  By improving the realism of the lab, exposing students to clinical situations, and utilizing a virtual piece of equipment (HoloLens) in the classroom will be instrumental towards developing and improving problemsolving skills to provide a context for the application of knowledge to their practice.  Additionally, students will be able to practice skills with each other through a Peer-to-Peer program designed to improve competency during scheduled skills fairs.  

Kim Fine, Director of Nursing, explained that “This funding will lead to improved student experiences in all of SCC’s nursing programs including Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, and Nursing Assistant students and enhance partnerships with Columbus Regional Healthcare System and the EMS programs at SCC.”  

Stephanie Kriner, the Director of Fire and EMS, added, “EMS students will have the opportunity to experience realistic training use of high-fidelity equipment that will better prepare them to be competent providers in the field.  We will have resources to improve the integration between the EMS and Nursing department, which prepares our students for the collaboration of professionals that are required for our region.”  

The funding will also expand training opportunities for incumbent health care workers.  According to Terri Veneziano, Chief Nursing Officer at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, “Having this resource will allow nurses from novice to have expert, realistic learning patient scenarios to assure both annual and ongoing competencies are met.  The simulation lab experience allows us to partner together to train inter-professional team members, including students, to set priorities utilizing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.” 

 Dr. Michael V. Ayers, VP for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, explained, “There is so much hard work that goes into putting a quality grant proposal together.  I am proud of Gail for spearheading this effort.”  Dr. Ayers expressed hope that the equipment will be housed in a new, state-of-the-art simulated hospital that could be created in SCC’s Nesmith Student Center.   

Beverlee Nance, VP for Workforce and Community Development, is no stranger to Golden Leaf Funding.  Nance stated, “SCC has received Golden Leaf funding to support advanced manufacturing in the past, and we are always appreciative of their support.” 

For now, Gail knows the work has just started, “It is hard to spend $500,000, but I look forward to the challenge.”  SCC hopes to have the new equipment operational as early as 2021. 

Other Sources: Golden Leaf Foundation

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