A laboratory-classroom in North Carolina Central University’s new Nursing Building will be formally dedicated as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Health Assessment Room in a ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, at 11:45 a.m.
The naming recognizes BCBSNC’s gift of $100,000 last year, a grant intended to help fund new technology to train nursing students and to underwrite research that will prepare them to address the state’s health care needs.
The dedication will include brief remarks from Charles L. Becton, NCCU’s interim chancellor; Dr. Brian Caveney, vice president and medical director of BCBSNC; Dr. Dwight Perry, chair of the NCCU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Betty Dennis, chair of the NCCU Department of Nursing.
The Health Assessment Room is contained within a facility called Eagle General Hospital, a comprehensive training center that provides nursing students with a wide range of realistic practical experiences. Angeline Baker, director of Eagle General, said the Health Assessment Room (Room 2123), is one of the largest training rooms. It is used primarily as a lab and classroom for students, usually sophomores, who are preparing to enter the nursing major.
“It’s where students are introduced to nursing,” Baker said. “They begin to learn how to make health assessments. Practicing on each other, they take temperatures and blood pressure. They learn how to assist patients — and they learn how to listen.”
The room contains six patient care units that include exam tables and related equipment, and four units with hospital beds. It also houses conference tables and seating for 16 people. Cameras and microphones are located above the patient care areas to allow recording of the students as they learn basic nursing skills.
BCBSNC’s gift to the NCCU nursing program is part of a broad effort by the insurer to support the development and training of North Carolina’s healthcare workforce. The company has awarded similar grants to academic institutions working to fill shortages of nurses and other healthcare workers in the state, programs that encourage graduates to remain in North Carolina and those with an emphasis on serving rural communities. Similar funding has been awarded to Appalachian State, Campbell and Elon universities.
NCCU opened the new Nursing Building in 2011 to support the university’s 64-year old nursing program. The program received full accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission in 1970, a status it has maintained ever since.