Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA College of Nursing & Allied Health Celebrates Recent Departmental Successes
May. 11, 2012



FLORENCE, Ala. - The College of Nursing & Allied Health at the University of North Alabama has a lot to be excited about recently with the addition of an on-campus medical training simulation lab, new accelerated options for students and a partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to help veterans nationwide.
 
Dr. Marilyn Lee, chair of the Department of Traditional Nursing, said every semester, students, faculty and staff come together within her department to give back to the community. They participate in blood drives, donate to food banks and even won an award for their recovery efforts after last year’s devastating April 27 tornadoes.
 
In early spring, the nursing department opened its new medical training simulation lab for students. The lab, which is located in an old classroom in Stevens Hall that was remodeled to look like a hospital, has everything a UNA nursing student would need to get clinical experience—hospital beds, equipment, medical supplies and life-sized simulators.
 
The remodeling of the lab and new simulators cost approximately $500,000, according to Lee. The department is also hoping to branch out and form relationships with local health agencies, such as Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital, so their nurses can use the lab as well.
 
“The students love it,” Lee said. “Our graduates say they wish we had something like this when they went to school here. We also do evaluations of students at the end of the semester, and students have indicated they love the experience they get (from the lab).”
 
The department has also had success with its accelerated alternative option to the traditional Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The 15-month program is designed for people who already have a degree to become registered nurses in less time.
 
“If you enjoy working with people, have good communication skills, are willing to take on the responsibility that goes with having a meaningful, exciting, challenging but rewarding job, (nursing) is for you,” Lee said. “The work is never the same. Every day is different.”
 
In April, the College of Nursing & Allied Health partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to assist and meet the healthcare needs of veterans and their families.
 
Lee said UNA nursing faculty have and will continue to view a series of webinars to help returning veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression and other combat-related issues.

UNA President Dr. William G. Cale Jr., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. John Thornell, and College of Nursing Dean Dr. Birdie Bailey, along with the chairs of the UNA nursing departments – Dr. Marilyn Lee and Dr. Wanda E. Bradford – have signed on in support of this national endeavor.

For more information, contact the College of Nursing and Allied Health at 256-765-4311 or 256-765-4580.