The bright glow emanating from the west side of campus is the newly renovated Nursing suite in Ferrante Hall. In the student learning areas, which resemble hospital rooms, most of the old and dark colors have been replaced with new and bright ones.
There are new nurse’s stations, sinks, linens for the beds, storage cabinets, tables and chairs. Even the woodwork and the flooring are new and bright. “The renovations are wonderful. It creates a professional environment for our students to learn in,” said Professor Susan Lamanna.
In between the two nursing suites is a renovated SIM lab. SIM stands for simulated patients. The SIM lab has doubled in size from two to four patients. They can be programmed to recreate any health condition, putting Nursing students in a situation where they need to respond. A simulated patient can be programmed to have seizures, heart attacks or strokes. Simulated patients can talk and take medicine. There’s even a new simulated mother who gives birth.
Assistant Professor Lori Murphy is coordinator of the SIM program. She’s also a registered nurse at Upstate Medical University Hospital. “Our SIM lab provides students with realistic situations to deal with in an emergency situation. It’s state of the art. It really does work. It makes students think through the process,” said Murphy.
In the hallway outside the classrooms is a beautiful 6 feet by 8 feet mural designed and painted by Nursing students. It portrays the story of students in the OCC Nursing program, from their studies to their work in the hospitals with patients. There’s a large syringe in the middle of the mural. Painted on it is OCC’s grading system for Nursing students which is done on the mastery program.
Assistant Professor Dianna Lewis-Brewster, with the support of Arts Across Campus, was the driving force behind the mural. Nursing student Victoria Magnotta was the lead artist. Magnotta will graduate from the Nursing program in 2015 but she also has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. “I sketched out the drawing, scanned it into Photoshop, pieced it together and colored it. It’s coming along. We still have more work to do.”
Several of the students who assisted Magnotta graduated in May 2014. They returned to campus in October. During an open house in the renovated Nursing suite they were presented with plaques of appreciation. Lewis-Brewster organized the display of gratitude. “The mural is beautiful. Our whole area has an amazing new look which we are all very proud of,” said Lewis-Brewster.