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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media

610-740-3790 (office) or 610-428-8207 (mobile)

CEDAR CREST COLLEGE NURSING DEPARTMENT ADDS STATE OF THE ART NURSING LABS TO MEET RAPID INCREASE OF STUDENTS IN PROGRAM

Reception will be Held on Sunday, August 28th to Celebrate Opening

Allentown, PA (August 25, 2005) - According to the latest projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2012. For the first time, the US Department of Labor has identified Registered Nursing as the top occupation for job growth through the year 2012.

Although Cedar Crest has been a leader in nursing education for decades, the College has recently seen a spike in the number of students entering the field. In the past three years, the number of students has increased by 300 percent. In order to meet and enhance the educational needs of approximately 250 nursing students this year, the College has added three, new, state of the art multimedia nursing labs to campus. An opening reception for the new Nursing Learning Resource Center, located on the lower level of Butz Hall, will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2005 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

“The new labs are meant to be a center of enrichment and whole education for our nursing students,” says Jacquelyn Wuchter R.N., B.S.N., coordinator of the Nursing Learning Resource Center, who helped to guide the planning of the new labs. “Nothing can replace the valuable clinical time that students spend at real healthcare facilities, but these new labs will certainly help to enhance our nursing curriculum and reinforce the skills learned in the program.”

In planning the Nursing Learning Resource Center, Wuchter, a Cedar Crest graduate, and other College administrators traveled to the College’s clinical partners to ensure the new labs accurately mirror real hospital settings. All of the labs have a multimedia teaching console and some include new high fidelity mannequins with vital simulation features to teach and enhance skills. The center’s new labs are:

Health Assessment Room

  • Set up to teach students how to complete a head to toe physical assessment of a patient.

Maternal and Pediatric Lab

  • Simulates a labor and delivery area, newborn nursery and pediatric unit

  • Features a new mannequin that gives birth and infant and child mannequins that simulate heart, lung and bowel sounds

  • Equipped with working oxygen and suction


Adult Health Room

  • Modeled after a real hospital unit; includes clean utility room, medication room and a nurse’s station

  • Equipped with moveable laptop computers that offer skill demonstrations, clinical simulation, computerized charting and critical thinking components

  • Also has working oxygen and suction and high fidelity mannequin

The Trexler Nursing Pavilion in the College’s Miller Building will continue to serve the nursing program as a center for learning the Fundamentals of Nursing and part of the space will be reconfigured as a Community Health Lab and set up to replicate a therapeutic and home care environment.

“A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) identified a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes. The addition of these new technologies and clinical simulation tools in the nursing labs allow our nursing faculty to create better patient care scenarios that emphasize critical thinking, time management and problem solving skills for students,” says Wuchter. “This will help our students improve the quality of their care delivery and how they approach each patient and their particular situation.”

The tremendous growth of the nursing major at Cedar Crest is a testament to the quality and strength of the program and curriculum. “The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing is the preferred entry level for today’s professional nurse,” says Dr. Laurie Murray, chair of the nursing program at Cedar Crest. “Our program provides a solid foundation in nursing practice anchored in a strong liberal arts education that is essential to developing the critical thinking and communication skills needed for success.”

Murray cites the performance of Cedar Crest students on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) NCLEX® examination for Registered Nurses as a prime example. The most recent Cedar Crest nursing graduates to take the test achieved a 100 percent pass rate. “Our program has consistently scored in the 90th percentile, but it is very rare for an entire class to pass the test on their first try,” says Murray. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students and faculty.” According to NCSBN, the average national first-time pass rate is 84.5 percent.

The Nursing Department at Cedar Crest is the only program in the Lehigh Valley to offer two part-time tracks to a baccalaureate degree in addition to its full-time offerings.

The media are invited to attend the opening reception on August 28th and the event is open to the public. For more information, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.

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