Officials from Washington Regional Medical Center announced a $250,000 gift to benefit NorthWest Arkansas Community College’s Center for Health Professions. The announcement was made during a gathering of board members, benefactors, community leaders, and friends on the NWACC campus.
In honor of this contribution, the Nursing Simulation Lab located on the first floor of the new center will bear the hospital’s name. The flexible lab space will feature high-tech simulators to encourage interactive patient care and engage NWACC nursing students in more than 100 scenarios, providing better exposure for practical training.
“We are thrilled to have Washington Regional’s generous support,” said Dr. Becky Paneitz, NWACC President. “As a strong community partner, their involvement in our efforts provides invaluable opportunities for our students. We look forward to the continued collaboration between our two organizations, as well as the additional health care education that will result from this new facility.” “We are proud of our longtime association with NWACC,” said Washington Regional CEO Bill Bradley. “We believe that our partnership is an investment in our community that will have a lasting impact throughout Northwest Arkansas.”
NWACC offers an associate degree in the field of nursing, which provides students with the registered nurse designation upon completing the program. Offering three tracks, the College currently has 160 students enrolled in its nursing program.
Mary Ross, Dean of Health Professions at NWACC, said state-of-the-art simulation training and collaboration among students in the health disciplines will be key components of the education provided in the new center. “The simulation experiences will better prepare students to provide patient care in the clinical environment,” Ross said. “In addition, the collaboration among the students from the disciplines of nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and EMT/Paramedic will mirror the working environment and ensure that our graduates enter the region’s health care workforce able to deliver the best in quality care.”
NWACC broke ground on the Center for Health Professions in July 2011. The eco-friendly center will create a highly adaptive and personalized learning experience to prepare students for their chosen careers. All of the College’s existing health-related disciplines, including registered nursing, emergency medical technician, fire science, respiratory therapy, paramedic, physical therapy assistant, and certified nursing assistant, will be housed in this new facility. The physical expansion also is expected to allow for new offerings in areas such as occupational therapy, medical assisting, and health information management, which will likely be in high demand in the next few years. Construction of the 83,000-square-foot center is expected to be completed late this fall, with classes starting in the new center in spring 2013.