A dedication ceremony for the newly renovated health sciences wing at FHU/Dickson was conducted Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, with approximately 100 persons in attendance.
The wing features labs for anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, microbiology and nursing skills. A nursing simulation observation room and a nursing classroom are also housed there. Nashville State Community College and FHU biology and chemistry classes began utilizing the new learning spaces in January 2016, and the FHU/Dickson Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program began Fall 2016.
Red McCaskill, executive director of FHU/Dickson, welcomed attendees and introduced program participants.
FHU President Joe Wiley presented plaques of appreciation to the organizations who provided funds to assist in development of the facility. These included Goodlark Educational Foundation; Nashville State Community College; National Healthcare Corporation, Dickson; Tennova Healthcare-Regional, Jackson; The Jackson Foundation; and TriStar Horizon Medical Center.
"We have been overwhelmed with the support and encouragement that the Dickson community has shown," said Robert Spencer, coordinator of nursing for Freed Hardeman University/Dickson. “The university is committed to provide competent and compassionate nurses for the Dickson community and beyond."
Others making comments included Dr. Chris White, chair of the FHU Nursing program, and Dr. LeAnn Davis, dean of the FHU College of Arts and Sciences. Ted Williams, FHU trustee, led the dedicatory prayer. Following the program, guests were invited to tour the health sciences wing.
“The renovation of approximately 7,000 square feet at FHU/Dickson created a state of the art environment to teach and learn the art and science of the nursing profession,” Spencer said. “The latest in high-fidelity simulation mannequins, wireless infrastructure and classroom technology has created an ideal location to provide student instruction. Hospital equipment adds to the realism and training opportunities in the nursing skills lab. We were excited to have the first class of BSN nurses begin in late August,” he said.
“They have turned the whole place into a wonderful learning and educational environment for the students,” Riya Desai, a member of the first nursing class, said. “I am able to have one-on-one with faculty members when I need help. We also get to have a lot of lab time.”
Brooklyn Polk, another member of the fist cadre of nursing students, said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed our new facility! Not only is it new and exciting. but it also has wonderful amenities for us to use. We have a laboratory with a complete hospital setting where we can practice nursing skills. There is a simulation laboratory with a simulation patient; with these materials, we are able to perform procedures while being observed by a healthcare professional.”
“I've loved every aspect of the program so far. It is both affordable and convenient,” Polk added.
FHU’s nursing program is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The Tennessee Board of Nursing gave its full approval in 2013. In February 2014, CCNE determined that all four accreditation standards had been met with no compliance concerns noted.