News
July 24, 2014
Lees-McRae to host May School of Nursing and Health Sciences grand opening on October 8

Lees-McRae is proud to announce it will host the grand opening of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences on Wednesday, October 8. Designed by McMillian Pazdan Smith, this 18,000 square foot facility will be the cornerstone of the College’s expanded nursing and health science programs. The event will feature extensive tours of the building, and will be free and open to the public.

“We are blessed and grateful that no operational funds have been used in the construction of the May School,” said President Buxton. “All construction, technology and furnishings have been paid for by generous donations from trustees, alumni and friends of the College, including a generous lead donation from the May family.”

The proposed pre-licensure nursing program has already generated approximately 30 pre-nursing students for fall 2014, which is three times as many students generated for the program in fall 2013, and it poses many opportunities for future growth. The nursing curriculum will begin in fall 2015 pending approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing. Currently, students identifying an interest in nursing are completing the core bachelor of science coursework needed for program application.

The May School will house learning labs and simulation capabilities for the existing athletic training program, the emergency medical services and management (EMSM) program and the proposed pre-licensure BSN nursing program. Lees-McRae currently offers science programs such as biology with concentrations in nutrition and health science. The health science curriculum prepares students for graduate schools in the areas of dentistry, medical, pharmacy, physician assistant and veterinarian studies.

“We’re just so happy we were able to help Lees-McRae and the community,” said Dianne May, trustee and benefactor for the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, during the 2013 groundbreaking ceremony. “It will be a revitalization of the campus. We can see such progress and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. It is just wonderful.”

This new facility will house two nursing simulation labs, an athletic training lab, learning labs, offices, two conference rooms and a replicated efficiency apartment. It will also be outfitted with the latest technology including 3G Wireless High-Fidelity Human Simulators, a simulation learning system which facilitates evidence-based scenarios for students, software which captures, records and debriefs simulations, an electronic health record documentation and medication dispensing system, and a web-based experiential learning program which supplements and enhances curricular success and preparation for the national licensing examination.

In addition, the May School will feature a full-size ambulance simulator. Consisting of the back half of an ambulance, known as an ambulance box, from Northwestern Emergency Vehicles in Jefferson, N.C., this ambulance will be fully equipped with all necessary medical supplies and will help students pursuing all healthcare majors to simulate the experience of working with patients and emergency medical interventions in an actual ambulance setting. The EMSM program will be one of only twelve baccalaureate degree programs in the nation, and it will be the second program implemented in North Carolina.

One of the hallmarks of the May School will be its focus on collaboration across majors. Students from the athletic training program, proposed pre-licensure nursing program and EMSM program, along with other majors, will have the opportunity to create real life, collaborative and comprehensive care scenarios. Performing Arts students will also have the opportunity to dramatize traumatic and emergency situations, and 3G wireless human simulators will act as the patient. EMSM students can provide immediate, first responder care, nursing students can transfer the human simulator to a realized “emergency room” in the May School to stabilize the patient and prepare them to be discharged. Athletic training students will be able to simulate rehabilitation for orthopedic patients and their related care in the replicated efficiency apartment. All of these scenarios will be recorded by state-of-the-art equipment to enable instructors to review each student’s performance and offer analysis.

Donations for the May School technology also extended to the Bowman Science Building and include updates to classrooms and the creation of a new virtual health lab featuring state-of-the-art technology, new furniture, digital microscopes and anatomical models.

At the helm of the May School is Lees-McRae’s Director of Nursing, Dr. Laura Fero, who comes to Lees-McRae with an extensive background in healthcare. She has worked at Chamberlain College of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Univeristy of Pittsburgh, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as several healthcare systems including Banner Health System in Colorado and UniHealth in California. She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Nursing, an MS in Nursing from the University of Phoenix and a BSN from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

“Lees-McRae leadership, faculty and staff have the vision and expertise to grow these exciting new programs and become a destination for excellence in healthcare education,” said Dr. Fero. “I am very fortunate to be part of this team. Everyone I encounter is excited about our future and the endless possibilities. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to create an environment of collaboration, professionalism and comprehensive learning.”

The May School of Nursing and Health Sciences will be the third building to open at the College this year. The Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio, located adjacent to Avery Residence Hall, was dedicated in July and now primarily houses set production for the College’s performing arts department as well as the Summer Theatre program. The Robb Center for Career Exploration, the newly renovated stone cottage located diagonal from the Chaffee Administration Building, is slated to be dedicated in early fall and will house the Office of Career Services, providing much needed space for seminars, one-on-one career counseling and more.

For more information about the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Lees-McRae College, please contact Dr. Laura Fero at ferol@lmc.edu.

Media Contact:

Megan Hall  |  Director of Communications
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email: hallm@lmc.edu
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Exterior of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences
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Featured stone wall in the main first floor commons
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A large learning lab
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The first floor main hallway
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A large learning lab