Cornerstone opens $3.5M nursing facility

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Cornerstone University opened its Mary De Witt Center for Nursing for students to become licensed registered nurses.

The $3.5 million facility will allow students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission this summer.

Although the university already is offering programs in medicine such as pre-physician’s assistant, pre-med and pre-nursing, students will have the opportunity to earn a nursing degree in an 8,100-square-foot facility that was designed to imitate a hospital wing and houses a multitude of medical equipment.

The Mary De Witt Center for Nursing has seven artificial intelligence mannequins designed by CAE Healthcare, a company that specializes in education technology in health care, security and aviation. The mannequins are responsive to medical treatment and can be programmed to exhibit a wide variety of symptoms. The mannequins teach students in the areas of general health care, labor and delivery, neonatal, geriatric and long-term care.

The facility also features hospital-grade beds and equipment, a Panda Warmer for the neonatal unit and touchscreen vital monitors. The university also acquired IV pumps and a Pyxis machine, which automatically dispense medications.

The equipment will prepare all BSN students for their clinicals at area hospital systems like Spectrum Health, Mercy Health and Metro Health. It also will prepare students to sit for the NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination, which will qualify them to become registered nurses.

“Students not only learn using this technology, but they can also correct mistakes in real-time as they prepare for their careers as nurses,” Dr. Maria McCormick, director of the nursing division, said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

Mary De Witt and her family, J.C. and Tammy Huizenga, and Dave and Carol Van Andel were contributors to the funding of the nursing center.

“Not only have you given us the opportunity to learn medicine, but you have given us the greatest opportunity to learn medicine at this top-of-the-line facility,” nursing student Jaden Herrema said.

“We are so thankful to Mary De Witt for her continuous support of Cornerstone,” Cornerstone President Joe Stowell said. “De Witt is a familiar name on our campus, and we are so honored to have Mary’s name on this building.”

Mary De Witt Center for Nursing was designed by C2AE, and Christman Co. was the contractor.

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