New Nursing Lab Increases Department Resources


Nursing students now have additional resources on campus following a lab renovation in the Pershing Building.
Last year, Truman received more than $500,000 through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund to support and expand the nursing program. A project of Missouri’s Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, GEER funds are designed to provide educational opportunities for students, drive progress toward economic recovery from the pandemic and meet specific workforce needs.
During the past year, a portion of the Pershing Building was renovated to create additional lab space similar to a hospital wing. The eight-bed facility includes a handicap accessible bathroom complete with a sprayer arm on the toilet for simulation of cleaning bedpans, urinals and other patient supplies. It also features compressed air that simulates the use of oxygen as well as the capability for suction.
Between the new lab in the Pershing Building and the existing Nursing Simulation Center in the Health Science Building, Truman now has a total of 17 beds for training.
“We can use both of the labs for skills instruction and practice, as well as simulated clinical experiences,” said Brenda Wheeler, department chair and associate professor of nursing. “This allows for additional space to accommodate more students in these learning experiences.”
The new lab is the latest in benefits Truman has seen from GEER funding. In the past year, two temporary nursing faculty positions and one tenure-track position were created in the department. With the additional personnel the department was able to restructure its clinical offering, allowing for more students to participate. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) students now have classes on opposite days, with clinical offerings taking place on the alternate days.
Another key benefit of the GEER funding has been the addition of cutting-edge technology. Among the new equipment the University has purchased are a high-tech geriatric nursing simulator, three point-of-care computer medication carts and bedside workstations on wheels with new laptop computers which allow students opportunities for patient bedside charting. The renovations in the Pershing Building were also made possible by the funds.
Truman was able to secure some of the competitively awarded GEER funds thanks to the collaborative efforts of the School of Health Sciences and Education, the Nursing Department, the Business Office and the Provost’s Office.