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University System of Maryland Hagerstown

USMH Reveals New Nursing Simulation Lab

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HAGERSTOWN –University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, September 28, for the new simulation lab intended for use by the Towson University nursing program at USMH. An existing classroom was converted to create the lab space.

Towson University’s Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maggie Reitz and the Dean of the College of Health Professions, Dr. Lisa Plowfield, joined Towson at Hagerstown faculty, USMH faculty and staff, and numerous Towson nursing students for the opening of the space.

Kathy Rabon, a member of the Towson at Hagerstown nursing faculty, elaborated on how the simulation lab is to be used: “The simulation lab is a space that replicates the nursing practice environment. The new space is specifically designed to replicate 1) labor, delivery, and post-delivery care for women and newborn babies in a hospital setting and 2) pediatric care in a hospital setting for infants and children. These two simulation lab areas allow simulations of real-life patient care situations for students to learn and practice in a safe, controlled environment.” She further explained, “Towson nursing focuses on the community aspect of nursing, which is supported in the rural environment of Western Maryland. Clinical experiences in hospital settings can be limited for these populations; the simulation lab provides an opportunity to expose students to experiences that may not be available in the local region.”

In her address during the ceremony, Dr. Plowfield also discussed the importance of community-based nursing, stating, “When our nurses graduate, they have a very special focus on outreach to underprivileged and vulnerable people who need care in the community. Our expansion out to Hagerstown, allowing us to offer the program here in the western part of the state, exemplifies that basis of our nursing program.” She continued, “We know that nurses who graduate from rural programs are more likely to work in the communities from where they graduate. We look to our students to be the future of the nursing workforce in the region.”

USMH is a regional higher education center that offers more than 20 undergraduate and graduate programs from six respected Maryland state universities.