The Holmes Community College Attala Center held a Ribbon Cutting and Open House this morning in Kosciusko to introduce the public to the new practical nursing wing at the center.
City and county officials joined the Holmes faculty, staff and administrators for the official opening of the nursing wing. PN instructors Christi Blair and Tammy Caldwell along with the current nursing students manned different stations to show what the facility has to offer them and incoming student nurses.
The Practical Nursing Program, formerly at the Goodman Campus, moved to the Attala Center in Kosciusko in the fall to open new opportunities for the nursing students in the central part of the district.
By making the move, the practical nursing program nearly doubled the size of the department going from 2,760 to 5,178 square feet and separated the classroom and laboratory and also added a simulation room.
"The move of the Practical Nursing program to Kosciusko has been great and the community support has been tremendous," PN instructor Christi Blair said. "We are so thankful to Dr. Haffey, the Board of Trustees, and administration for providing us with this state of the art facility.
"I am also grateful to the staff of the Attala center for all their assistance with the expansion and how welcoming they have been to our program. The relocation to Kosciusko allows the Holmes Practical Nursing program to serve an expanded area in our district."
Blair said having more space is crucial to the program's success. "The practical nursing lab now has a fully functioning nursing station, a simulation room, and new lab equipment," Blair explained. "The simulation room allows the students to participate in scenarios they may not come into contact with in their clinical rotations. This notably broadens our instructional potential. We also have increased the number of nursing beds to seven, as opposed to four in Goodman. The student's access to hands-on instruction is significantly expanded with this change."
Goodman Campus Career-Technical Director Dr. Luke Jones said the decision to move the program will help continue to develop quality nurses. "With the construction of the new facility, it was important to establish its importance to the Holmes Community College district with the presence of a flagship program," Dr. Jones said. "With the unfinished space, it was evident that constructing a state-of-the-art nursing facility would be beneficial for the new center and our students.
"With the inaugural year of the move almost complete, this has been a smooth transition, and it has provided our students in the northeastern portion of our district better access to our practical nursing program. Words cannot describe how thankful and blessed we are to have a state-of-the-art facility that provides such a wonderful learning experience for our students."
By having more room, Dr. Jones said it was easier to separate the lab and classroom setting. "Besides the increase in space, the new lab at the Attala Center boasts a nurses' station equivalent to that found in a hospital, and the lab also has a simulation room that mimics a patient room found at a hospital," Dr. Jones explained. "The simulation room has a two-way mirror where the instructors can look upon their students from a separate observation room while they're performing technical skills during check-offs. Both the observation room, and the simulation room is equipped with an intercom system so that the instructors can communicate with the students. The simulation room is also equipped with a video camera that allows the students to view their performance on technical skills."