SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Betty Craze, the Nursing Simulation Lab Coordinator and part of the Nursing Faculty at BridgeValley Community and Technical College says the college’s new nursing wing gives students the most realistic experience possible.
BridgeValley Community and Technical College (BVCTC) leaders, nursing faculty and nursing students showed off the new Booker T. Washington Nursing Wing Tuesday evening at the South Charleston campus.
The new nursing wing, which opened for students in September, is named in recognition of the contributions that Dr. Washington made in health and education in the Kanawha Valley. He was an educator, speaker, author, statesman, healthcare advocate and advisor to three U.S. Presidents with strong ties to this area and the beginnings of what is now BVCTC, a release stated.
“As we were designing this, we put so much thought into so many little details and to see people walk through and say how great it is, it makes my day. We love showing it off,” Craze said.
Phase one of the expansion of the BVCTC nursing program included the construction of a nursing wing that simulates a hospital floor and assessment lab facilities.
The new wing is located in Building 2000 on the South Charleston campus and houses multiple simulation labs, an assessment lab, a nurses’ station, a general classroom, and office space.
Craze remembers when those halls were long and dark during initial meetings on expansion last December, she said. Beginning in the third week of September, students have been working in the bright hallways.
Craze said enrollment is already up in the program and expects to continue to grow.
“Being able to have students here all the time, in all the rooms allowed us to accept more students. Being able to show pictures and talk about it, on top of being the number one community college nursing program in the state, it’s a good recruiting tool,” she said.
The full expansion of the nursing program will take three years and will ultimately increase the capacity of the BVCTC School of Nursing from 180 students annually to 424, a BVCTC release said.
In addition, graduates will be prepared to advance their degree to the BSN by taking advantage of BVCTC’s partnerships with area four-year colleges and universities.
“BVCTC is thrilled to be part of the nursing solution for the state, and we are proud of the improvements we’re making to better serve our nursing students now and in the future,” said BVCTC President Casey Sacks.
BVCTC received $3.1 million from the HEPC for the project.