Nursing now has better space, equipment

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of articles detailing Missouri Southern’s new Health Sciences building and the programs within it.

What’s the best way to judge Missouri Southern’s nursing program? Ask the students enrolled in it. And they have spoken.

“I like all the new equipment, the open working space,” said Angela Standefer, attending Southern for a master’s of science- nursing.

The open working space is afforded by the nursing department’s move to the new Health Sciences building this semester. The building is a new structure on campus that has been in the making for over a decade, and it’s one of the nursing students’ favorite aspects of the nursing program.

Other favorites include the Master’s degree co-op degree in Nursing and the partnership with University of Missouri- Kansas City. Another plus are the instructors.

“Instructors are great, they facilitate my success,” said Tracey Lowry, another student attending Southern for a master’s of science- nursing.

One of those nursing instructors, Grace Ayton, was quick to mention the Health Sciences building as well, saying, “We’re just very excited to have this building with all the resources available … we’ve got a lot of new equipment.”

The students also enjoy “hanging out” in the new building, which has lounging areas scattered throughout. This is something they didn’t do before.

“It used to be, they never hung around, they’d just come to class and leave,” said Mari Beth Linder, director of nursing. “But it seems like they really like the building.”

Southern has a traditional baccalaureate program with 61 juniors and 41 seniors. The master’s degree program has 25 students. Both of those are record high numbers at Southern. This past summer, an accelerated option track was approved for the program which would allow people with degrees in any other major to earn a nursing degree in 14 months. The accelerated option will become available June 1, 2011.

With all the new equipment comes training for the instructors. Some of the new options include Sim Men 3G mannequins, including a Sim Baby, which are “lifelike.” There is also an intravenous therapy (IV) simulation program to train students how to insert an IV, as well as virtual phlebotomies.

Equipment like this is why Tracy Parker, seeking a master’s of science- nursing degree, likes the nursing program.

“[It’s] state of the art,” she said.