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J M Smith Foundation donates to nursing simulation center

Staff Report
Published Feb. 7, 2013

The J M Smith Foundation donated an undisclosed amount of funds to the University of South Carolina Upstate Foundation.

The funds will enable the Mary Black School of Nursing Simulation Center to purchase technology equipment to help achieve its goal of becoming the Simulation Center of Teaching Excellence in the Upstate.

The J M Smith Foundation gift will purchase wireless audio-visual systems, computerized medication dispensing carts and laptops for electronic bedside documentation.

The simulation center is an important component to the nursing curriculum, according to a news release. It replicates clinical situations to provide students and faculty the opportunity to practice, analyze and perfect their skills in patient care.

“Health care delivery is rapidly evolving and USC Upstate is committed to being at the cusp of this evolution,” said Bea Walters Smith, director of development and scholarships, in a news release. “We are thrilled to receive the leadership gift from the J M Smith Foundation as it assures the Mary Black School of Nursing Simulation Center will be a first-class learning facility for our students and community partners in the health care industry.”

During the past two years, the Mary Black School of Nursing has focused on funding and developing a plan to increase utilization by faculty and students.

The first step in the plan included joining Healthcare Simulation South Carolina, simulation experts, under the leadership of Dr. John Schaeffer. Schaeffer’s team developed a plan for USC Upstate to build an infrastructure that was in line with other university simulation centers in the state, such as Clemson and USC Columbia.

The plan was divided into two phases. Phase I included a computer and equipment upgrade of the main simulation rooms in the center. This phase was funded by USC Upstate.

“In August 2012, this phase was completed, and when the nursing students returned for the fall term, utilization increased by nearly 650%, with a total of 3,494 student encounters in the past semester,” said Dr. Margaret Hindman, director of the Joint Center for Nursing Research and Scholarship at USC Upstate, in a news release.