EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 31, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s School of Nursing recently welcomed more than 100 eighth graders from Whitewater and Albemarle Road middle schools to the Union Square Campus to explore health care career possibilities.
The Union Square campus is a partnership between N.C. A&T and Cone Health, Guilford Technical Community College and the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
The students from the Charlotte, North Carolina, middle schools toured the Health Assessment Lab, Clinical Lab, Anatomoge Table Room, Apartment, Debrief Room and Prebrief Room.
“We know that nursing school is challenging and very competitive,” said Courtlanda Free, MSN, RN, Advanced Nurse Educator and Progressive Care Certified Nurse who serves as interim simulation coordinator and director of clinical learning for the School of Nursing. “We want to give students an early opportunity for success. We also want to encourage students that are interested and let them know nursing is a wonderful career and it is possible for them, if they choose.”
Free, other nursing faculty and current A&T nursing students led the tour for the eighth graders so they could experience direct representation of what the future of nursing can look like for them.
“I enjoyed getting to see the kids,” said Audriana Amos, a junior nursing student from Richmond, Virginia. “Their faces lit up while they were looking at the Anatomoge table as Ms. Free went through different parts of the body. They were asking a lot of questions, and they were really engaged, and I think that’s good because it shows that they might be future nurses one day or in the healthcare field.”
The Anatomoge is a radiology software device that offers a life-size digital representation of the human body by use of cadaver photos. The photos allow the visualization and manipulation of the human body so students are able to view its different layers from skin and muscles to the cardiovascular and skeletal systems.
The Health Assessment and Clinical labs are designed to emulate hospital rooms and are equipped with hospital beds, computers and materials that students would work with if they were in a real hospital.
The Apartment is a community health simulation with a full bathroom and full functioning room to customize what happens in the space. Within the simulation is a high-fidelity mannequin that operates with basic human functions so students can hear heart sounds, for example.
The Debrief Room is a hospital patient room simulation where participants’ performances can be recorded within the space and reviewed later for deeper learning.
The PreBrief Room is a nurse’s station where students can create care plans before operating within their simulation.
“All of the rooms are (designed) so that students can learn safely without fear of harming anyone or judgment and come in with an open mind and willing to learn,” said Free.
A&T alumna Diana Partlow, Communities In Schools director at Whitewater Middle School, coordinated the tour.
“As a middle school career coach, it is my job to expose them to different colleges and careers,” said Partlow. “I’m just so happy that our nursing department has elevated so much, so I was excited about exposing my students to the program as an opportunity for pre-recruitment.”
“I knew when I was about their age that I wanted to be a nurse,” Amos said of the eighth graders. “So, for us to be a part of showing them around, showing them what we do, I think it will influence them so hopefully we’ll have some future nurses because I feel like the career is always going to need people.”
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