DSCC holds grand opening and ribbon cutting for new nursing labs

Friday, September 14, 2018
On Tuesday, Dyersburg State Community College held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration for the institution’s new nursing labs. The labs are located inside the Dale F. Glover Education Building on the main campus.
State Gazette photos/ Brandon Hutcheson


DSCC President Dr. Karen Bowyer welcomed those in attendance.


On Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m., Dyersburg State Community College held a grand-opening celebration and ribbon cutting for new nursing labs located on the main campus. The celebration occurred inside the new labs within the Dale F. Glover Education Center.

Reba Celsor (right), West Tennessee Healthcare-Dyersburg Hospital CEO, addresses those gathered, while Dr. Bowyer (center) and DSCC Dean of Nursing Amy Johnson (left) look on.

The creation of the new labs began in November 2016, when DSCC announced it had received a $1,075,000 Drive to 55 Capacity Building Grant in renovating and adding nursing laboratories and opening a new Paramedic to Registered Nurse (RN) Fast Track Program at the Dyersburg campus. The grant is part of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s $24.3 million Drive to 55 Capacity Fund, which was designed to support the increased enrollment at colleges and universities to support the Drive to 55 initiative.

Utilizing the funds from the grant, DSCC created the new labs and provided additional equipment as well as a large laboratory. The renovations have allowed DSCC to provide students with labs that simulate a hospital environment for an enhanced learning experience. The new labs will additionally benefit nursing students enrolled in the Traditional Nursing and LPN to RN Fast Track Nursing Programs.

On Tuesday, with over 50 community members, current and previous nursing students, and DSCC faculty and staff members, DSCC President Dr. Karen Bowyer welcomed those in attendance.

The new labs came to life due to DSCC receiving a Drive to 55 Capacity Building Grant, amounting to over $1 million in 2016. The labs became operational the beginning of the fall semester and provide students with a simulated hospital environment for an enhanced learning experience. The new labs will benefit nursing students enrolled in the Traditional Nursing and LPN to RN Fast Track Nursing Programs.

Dr. Bowyer noted this current school year marked the 50th anniversary for DSCC, and added, “One thing we are going to do to mark this year and to try to help support this program is launch a campaign to raise $1.25 million over the next 5 years. Every year, this is our center of emphasis at the college, and every year we have to raise $50,000 to match $100,000 from the State of Tennessee in order to have $150,000 for [DSCC Dean of Nursing] Amy [Johnson] to make this all work and be top notch. We want our students to have the very best training, and of course with us on the receiving end of care, we want them to be well-trained.”

Following a brief video of the fundraising campaign, Dr. Bowyer introduced West Tennessee Healthcare-Dyersburg Hospital CEO Reba Celsor and Amy Johnson who provided brief remarks.

“I just want to say congratulations. This is really impressive. To have a feeder program like Dyersburg State at our back door is such a blessing, and it’s certainly something we never take for granted,” said Celsor. “When we are faced with the constant challenge of supply and demand, and we all know there aren’t enough healthcare workers, to meet the demand of the healthcare needs. To have Dyersburg State here supporting us and partnering with us, I can’t say how valuable that is to the healthcare in Dyersburg, Dyer County, and all of the communities we serve.”

“We are so excited,” stated Johnson. “Without my team, we would not have completed this big of a task. Thank you for everybody who helped get all of this together.”

Speaking of the nursing labs, Johnson added, “The room you’re standing in is what we’re considering our nursing skills lab. In this room we have the 5-bed setup, and we tried our best to simulate a real hospital environment. On the wall, you have oxygen, air, and suction, and that all works. We can turn it on, and the students can learn how to do these skills. Each mannequin in the bed does have a different set, but they all can do many things. All of them can talk, we can listen to their pulse rate, and listen to them breathe. We can hear the heart rate. The monitors on the wall gives us a real environment. We’re simulating a clinical environment. We can change it, and the students have to realize it without saying anything. This is going to give us an opportunity to allow students to make mistakes in a stress-free environment where we can teach them different things. So, we’re so excited to have this skills lab.”

DSCC graduate and president of the college’s first Paramedic to RN Fast Track Nursing Program Shelly Hulbert spoke briefly to those gathered. She thanked everyone who supports the program, which allows students to grow in the medical field.

Following Hulbert’s remarks, those gathered witnessed the official ribbon cutting of the nursing labs with the assistance from the Dyersburg/ Dyer County Chamber of Commerce. To conclude the evening’s celebration, attendees toured the new facilities.

DSCC introduced the Paramedic to RN Program at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County in 2016 and graduated 16 students from the program in August 2017. All 16 graduates passed the State Board Exam and are registered nurses.

Over the previous 37 years, 1,709 nursing students have graduated from DSCC’s nursing programs. DSCC prides itself in providing West Tennessee and surrounding areas with highly skilled nurses.

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