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Emory Nursing School celebrates ribbon cutting of new nursing learning center in Decatur

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Emory Nursing School celebrates ribbon cutting of new nursing learning center in Decatur

The Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing celebrated the ribbon cutting of the Emory Nursing Learning Center in Decatur on Sept. 16, 2022. Photo by Pam Auchmutey.

Decatur, GA — The Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Emory Nursing Learning Center in downtown Decatur on Friday, Sept.16.

The center, located at 250 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., was a $20.6 million project and is a 70,000-square-foot expansion. The facility features state-of-the-art simulation and professional development space designed to prepare students to engage in interactive technology and experiential learning environments, according to a press release.

The ENLC was created to address the nursing shortage in the country and serves students of all levels, from undergraduates to continuing education students and advanced practice nursing professionals.

“We are excited to provide this immersive learning experience for our students,” said Linda McCauley, dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. “This realistic environment featuring state-of-the-art classrooms and simulation lab space will uniquely prepare our students to care for patients in a wide variety of clinical and home health settings. When you step into the building, you know that you have arrived at a place dedicated to preparing nurse leaders.”

Additional features of the facility include an Innovation Hub that will nurture new ideas to meet rising health care challenges, in-person and remote learning capabilities, an extensive simulation and skills lab, and the CenterWell Home Health Lab replicating a small apartment. The simulation labs include mock telehealth, clinical, and hospital settings with high-tech equipment.

“The opening of the Emory Nursing Learning Center is a milestone for the world-renowned Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing,” Emory President Gregory Fenves said. “The ENLC will provide our nursing students with unparalleled opportunities for experiential learning, preparing them to become leaders and provide compassionate, targeted support for patients throughout their careers.”

The ENLC seeks to transform today’s nursing student experience. The center provides a variety of spaces such as a studio media center, classrooms, student commons areas, offices, and conference rooms. The facility also serves as the home of the Emory Nursing Experience, a partnership with Emory Healthcare that provides continuing professional education opportunities to nurses.

“At Emory Nursing, we share a commitment of life-long learning for all levels of nursing, certification, and continuing education,” said Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare. “Quality professional development is the heart of the new Emory Nursing Learning Center. The building’s simulation technology provides realistic laboratories for nurses to practice as if they are in actual clinical situations. This prepares both new and experienced registered nurses and advanced practice nurses to thrive in a multitude of complex clinical practice settings. This preparation is a large part of creating a smooth transition from classroom to the practice setting, and from student to expert clinician.”

The ENLC is at the cutting-edge of nursing education and will enhance the mission of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center to improve the health of communities and individuals at home and in the world, said Dr. David Stephens, Emory’s interim executive vice president for health affairs and interim executive director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

“In the face of a critical nationwide nursing shortage, the need for nurses has never been more evident. The ENLC will directly address this shortage by preparing nurse leaders to serve their communities in a multitude of practice settings,” Stephens said.

Fenves, McCauley, Pappas, and Stephens took part in the official ribbon-cutting, as did Emory Board of Trustees member John Rice, 2022 Master of Nursing Class President Jadaria Thomas, Decatur City Commissioner Kelly Walsh, and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce President Frankie Atwater. The Emory Nursing Learning Center opened to students last month, while continuing education opportunities through the Emory Nursing Experience have taken place in the center since fall 2021.

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