May School of Nursing and Health Sciences grand opening to be held October 8 at 11 a.m.

October 02, 2014

After more than a year of construction, Lees-McRae will host the grand opening and dedication of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences on Wednesday, October 8 at 11 a.m. The dedication ceremony and tours of the building are free and open to the public. Parking will be available in Hayes Parking Lot across from Hayes Auditorium. An invitation-only lunch for faculty, staff, donors, friends of the College and special guests will be held on Tate Lawn after the ceremony.

The May School will be open to the public for self-guided tours from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The tour will highlight areas of the building such as the EMT Simulation Lab, which houses a full-scale ambulance simulator; the Nursing Simulation Suite, which features a simulated inpatient hospital unit complete with exam tables, hospital beds and a replicated efficiency apartment; and an Athletic Training Simulation Lab, which will features a Biodex, treadmills, treatment tables, a bicycle ergometer and modalities.

In addition to these state-of-the-art spaces, demonstrations of 3G wireless human simulators will be held on the half hour from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. The May School will house multiple high-fidelity simulators including adults, pediatrics and infants, that have the ability to blink, cry, bleed, foam at the mouth, speak and much more.

"We are so excited about these new opportunities for our students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare,” said Dr. Laura Fero, director of nursing. “The technological capabilities and interdisciplinary space will promote a positive relationship with our local partners and community members.”

The May School will house the existing athletic training program, the new emergency medical services and management program and the proposed pre-licensure nursing program (pending NCBON approval). Collectively, the May School will serve more than 300 Lees-McRae students and generate more than 2,000 clinical hours spent serving the local community.

The proposed pre-licensure nursing program has already generated approximately 80 pre-nursing students for fall 2014, 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.

In addition, this new facility will feature multiple interdisciplinary classrooms, interactive conference rooms and the latest technology including 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.

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, officially opened in October 2014 and houses 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

Members of the media are welcome and encouraged to attend this event. If you would like to attend, please contact Megan Hall, director of communications, at no later than Monday, October 6. Reserved seating will be available for members of the media. For more information, please view the press kit at

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email:
The May School of Nursing and Health Sciences signage created by The Sign Shop in Banner Elk.
The second floor commons area is an interactive student learning space with sweeping views of Tate Residence Hall and the rest of the campus.
The Laerdal SimMan® is one of many human simulators that will call the May School home.
With its stone focal wall, the lobby will soon feature a hand carved wood replica of the Lees-McRae shield carved by artisan, Bob Jones.