Photo of Susan Durham

Faculty member Susan Durham

Photo of Francine Roberts

Faculty member Francine Roberts coaches student through the steps of CPR

Photo of Lucy Boland

Faculty member Lucy Boland (center) demonstrates venapuncture techniques


The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University

College Boasts Innovative New Nursing Lab

By Amy Biderman

George Mason University's College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS) unveiled clinical labs in February that are the newest and most technically innovative in Northern Virginia. The opening of the labs is one of many aggressive steps the university is taking to find solutions to the nursing shortage.

"As the primary provider of nurses and clinicians to health care facilities in Northern Virginia, we are stepping up to the plate to address the critical nursing shortage and prepare students to function in the complex world of health care," says P.J. Maddox, CNHS dean. "The new facilities increase our educational capacity for undergraduate nursing students, but more important, they replicate what students encounter when they enter hospitals and other care areas for clinical learning experiences."

Each of the labs' 60 beds has working oxygen and suction ports and is wired to accommodate basic and intensive patient care technology. Capabilities range from cardiac telemetry and EKG and blood pressure monitoring technology to infusion pumps, automatic defibrillators, and electronic patient record systems that simulate local patient care facilities.

CNHS also has expanded its education computer lab, renaming it the Technology and Simulation Lab. The facility now has 24 computers, as well as 4 virtual reality computers that allow students to practice inserting IVs and drawing blood through a device that simulates the feel of a needle going into a vein. Other technology simulates the clinical decisions nurses must make.

Individual and corporate gifts totaling $1 million enabled CNHS to renovate and equip its clinical practice and computer laboratories. A leadership gift from John and Nina Toups of McLean, Va., helped the university garner financial support to expand and renovate the clinical practice labs. John Toups is a George Mason University Foundation trustee emeritus and former foundation chair. Nina Toups served on the Arts Gala Committee.

"We are honored by the Toups's involvement, generosity, and longtime support of George Mason University," says President Alan Merten. "Their support, and that of others, will enable us to keep pace with the latest in medical technologies and help address the region's critical need for nurses."