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USFSM unveils nursing practice lab – news – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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USFSM’s new nursing practice lab accompanies the launch of the school’s first healthcare-focused curriculum.

The models were the only ones not showing their enthusiasm at Wednesday’s unveiling ceremony for the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee Nursing Skills Lab.

The lab, which is used by the USFSM’s first cohort of nursing students, has nine “sham patients,” ready to be pricked and pushed by the students as they learn to draw blood, administer drugs. injections and inserting catheters, before practicing on real people. .

As the models gazed at the ceiling, university officials, students, and administrators celebrated both the opening of the lab and the launch of the USFSM’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program – the first ever nursing degree program. ‘studies related to school health care.

“This is just the first step in what’s about to come,” said Byron Shinn, USF board chairman. “It will have a direct impact in many ways.”

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The inaugural class features 30 aspiring nurses who undertake a 16-month course that will hopefully culminate in earning the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and, ideally, taking a job in local healthcare, helping to thwart a growing crisis of nursing shortages.

Natasha Zurcher, the program director, said that as students complete their clinical hours at hospitals and clinics in the area, they will likely end up staying here after graduation, which reduce the continuing shortage of nurses.

“I tell them it’s still a job interview,” said Zurcher. “Employers are watching you, want to know if they’re going to hire you.”

Shinn said the program has received five times as many applicants as there were places, and he hopes the school will continue to develop a master’s in nursing program to better meet the needs.

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All students had to already have their bachelor’s degree to qualify for the program, and some participants said the small cadre of USFSM was a welcome contrast to their undergraduate years on a large campus.

“You are already starting to feel at home here,” said Emily Bowie, a student who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.

Lucia Larrosa, 28, one of the first class students, said stepping into a program and seeing a piece of equipment never touched was unique.

“We are blessed,” she said. “Usually, as a new student, you get things that have been used a few times before. “

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