The nursing clinical skills lab at California State University, Dominguez Hills received a $30,000 gift from Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance. The donation of a defibrillator and consumable supplies such as bedding, face masks, catheters, and other items will help provide a professional level training environment for students in the Master’s Entry-level Professional Nursing (MEPN) Program.
School of Nursing acting director Rose Welch says the clinical skills lab enhances the quality of instruction for nursing students at CSU Dominguez Hills by providing professional level training right on campus for an average of 30 students each year.
“The nursing skills lab has allowed students to practice skills before entering the clinical agency,” she says. “As we continue to integrate use of the skills lab into the curriculum, we feel that critical thinking, decision making, and clinical skills will be enhanced. We believe that they are beginning their clinical rotations with more confidence.”
Kathy Harren, chief nursing officer at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, attended the grand opening of the clinical skills lab last November, the first facility on campus in the program’s 29-year history. Impressed by the facility, she discussed the possibility of donating materials or equipment and asked the School of Nursing for a wish list of supplies.
“We asked, and Providence Little Company of Mary totally came through for us,” said Andrea Sala, former associate vice president of development at CSU Dominguez Hills, who managed the gift. “They reached out to all kinds of [suppliers] and worked really hard to get us the things we needed. We’re lucky to have [them] as a partner.”
Harren says that her hospital and the university are linked in a common goal to educate tomorrow’s workforce of nurses.
“It is a privilege to [collaborate] with such an exceptional community partner in nursing education,” she says. “Many CSU Dominguez Hills nursing students do their clinical rotation with our nurses and nurse leaders as proctors in their experiential immersion work.”
The university and Providence Little Company of Mary have both benefited from their long-standing relationship. Harren has personally served as an instructor at the hospital for students in both the MEPN and bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) programs. Welch is a member and advisor to the medical center’s Research and Education Shared Governance Council. In addition, Providence Little Company of Mary donated beds for a temporary skills lab in Welch Hall that was used during the new lab’s construction.
The medical center has also agreed to continue to replenish the skills lab with more consumable items donated by their suppliers.
Ryan Hodges, a 2011 graduate of the MEPN program, says that Providence Little Company of Mary’s assistance to his program extended beyond supplies to providing hands-on educational experience for him and his classmates in key areas of the medical center, including rotations in the emergency room, medical-surgical units, operating room, same-day surgery, post-anesthesia care unit, and transitional care center.
“I have been fortunate to have Providence as a part of my nursing student experience,” he says. “I would also like to commend the personal impact their chief nursing officer Kathy Harren, their education director Ellen Gorbunoff, and the rest of their nursing staff has had on my journey through nursing school.”
Hodges has fulfilled his hours for certification as a clinical nurse leader at the medical center, working under the leadership of Gorbunoff and Harren, and plans to take the certification exam early next year. He recently began the new graduate nurse residency program at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills in the pulmonary medical/surgical unit. His long term career goal is to become a doctorate-prepared nurse practitioner and operate his own clinic.
“When Ms. Harren spoke to my class on advanced nursing roles, it opened my eyes to true nursing leadership. As I spoke to other respected nursing leaders, everyone highlighted her passionate community involvement,” Hodges says. “Nurses Claudette Dorsey, Linda Mason, Carol Glenn, and others on PLCMMC’s administrative and nursing staff have also acted as mentors to me and my classmates. Their kindness has helped supported my nursing education and guided my leadership abilities.”