Queensborough’s Nursing Program Expands Learning Technology
Queensborough Community College has one of the largest clinical nursing programs in the New York Metropolitan area, and is the main educator of registered nurses in Queens. At the forefront of nursing education since 1967, Queensborough is currently in the process of building a Virtual Hospital that will offer more comprehensive training to an increasingly diverse student body and will provide a deeper level of practical clinical experience.
Laboratory space is being renovated to establish the four-bed Virtual Hospital which will allow more than 350 nursing students a year to hone their clinical practice skills.
A recent $12,000 grant from The Verizon Foundation will help purchase human patient simulators, referred to as “mannequins,” and associated program materials. The mannequins are the latest in educational technology. They imitate human physiological life signs and can be programmed to mimic a wide variety of clinical situations. Their realistic anatomy and clinical functionality challenge students to perform quickly and effectively during realistic patient care scenarios. They allow for real-time interaction between “patient” and caregiver as well as immediate instructor feedback. Students will have the opportunity to repeat patient scenarios until skill mastery is achieved. It is only with simulators that these drills, and related English language communication, can be repeated until students feel confident.
Through assignments in the Virtual Hospital, Queensborough students will refine their language and clinical skills and gain experience and confidence before they encounter real patients in clinical settings. This is one of the many strategies that Queensborough’s Nursing Department is utilizing to ensure that its student body is well prepared for modern, demanding healthcare settings. “The Virtual Hospital will provide the college’s substantial body of ESL students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the use of English in clinical settings,” said Dr. Maureen Wallace, Chairperson of the Nursing Department at Queensborough Community College. “This is crucial to their success.”
Along with The Verizon Foundation, additional program funding for the Virtual Hospital has been awarded to the Queensborough Nursing Department from the Roslyn Savings Foundation. The nursing program has also received support in past years from the American Nurses Association and The Foundation of the National Nurses’ Association, Inc. to customize the most up-to-date training available for Queensborough’s nursing students.