Gerald L. Francis Center

The Department of Nursing is housed in the Gerald L. Francis Center, the 50,000-square-foot facility that is home to the School of Health Sciences. Three large practical laboratory spaces; a human donor anatomy lab and osteology lab; state of the art simulation spaces; and multiple research labs give nursing students ample opportunity for hands-on learning experiences.

Students enjoy access to a fitness center, locker rooms, study and practice rooms, and common areas to support their needs between classes, in the evenings and on weekends. The Francis Center is undergoing a major renovation, including an expansion that will result in a total of 100,000 square feet of space for the school’s three programs. Among the new additions completed in spring 2022 is a suite with augmented, virtual and and mixed reality technology, opening the door to a new a world in the education of health care practitioners. The new technology allows instructors to develop complete scenarios in low-stake environments for students to practice and grow confidence and skills in high-pressure situations. A dedicated student entrance, re-imagined common spaces to encourage collaboration, new classrooms, skills labs and group study rooms are part of the renovations to be completed fall 2023. The last phase of the expansion, which will be completed summer 2024, will add offices for nursing faculty.

Interprofessional Simulation Center

Simulation has been part of the educational model in nursing for over a hundred years.  Advancement in high-fidelity mannequins, task trainers, virtual reality, and the utilization of standardized patients has enhanced the realism and clinical preparation of future nurses.  Simulation provides an opportunity for hands-on engagement in a safe and controlled environment, allowing students to practice skills and transition towards mastery of competencies.
Nursing students in the School of Health Sciences will benefit from engaged and experiential learning activities in our Interprofessional Simulation Center, which includes high-fidelity mannequins that cover the entire life span; task trainers that allow students to master every task from taking vitals to drawing blood; medical carts filled with simulated medicines that mirror those found on hospital wards; and patient rooms equipped with supplies needed for care. Our simulation and clinical skills labs include recording equipment that allows faculty and students to capture student performance for review, evaluation, and continuous improvement. As current nursing regulation allows simulation hours to account for a portion of the required, traditional, clinical practical hours, a state-of-the-art simulation lab is an invaluable resource in the preparation of nursing students.

Check out this Interprofessional Simulation Center brochure for more information.