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INSIDE THE FLX: FLCC building addition to house nursing program expansion (podcast)

In this edition we talk to nursing professor Susan McCarthy about how the shortage of medical personnel came about and about construction of the Sands Center for Allied Health and what it means for the future of the FLCC nursing program.

Sands Center for Allied Health

  • FLCC broke ground on the $7.2M expansion and renovation at the back of the main campus in June 2021.
  • The renovated area on the third floor, which features a new nursing simulation lab, opened in August 2021.
  • The expansion includes more nursing lab and instructional spaces on the third floor and a fourth floor lobby; it will open in summer 2022.
  • When complete, the Sands Center for Allied Health will allow FLCC to accept 50 percent more students in the two-year registered nursing program and launch a one-year licensed practical nursing program in fall 2023. Certificate training for nurse assistants, home health aides and phlebotomy technicians will also take place there
  • The Sands Center for Allied Health is named for the chief donor, the Sands Family Foundation, which contributed $3 million. In addition, the FLCC Student Corporation pledged $250,000 while the FLCC Foundation and the FLCC Association will each contribute $200,000. These gifts were matched by New York State.

We also talked about how students can train on a lifelike simulator, with instructors watching from another room.


  • The FLCC nursing program has used clinical simulations in every course for many years to improve nursing practice. Simulation provides clinical practice in a safe learning environment where students can practice clinical judgment and decision making skills without patient harm.
  • FLCC’s renovated nursing wing has a separate simulation area with 2 rooms on either side of a control room with one-way mirrors allowing for two simulations to be run at the same time.
  • In the control room faculty observe students interact with a high-fidelity mannequin as if it were a live patient. Students work collaboratively without prompting by faculty to recognize and identify problems, prioritizes what may be happening, implement a solution, and then evaluate the outcome.
  • Faculty has the ability manipulate the situation by adjusting the mannequin’s vital signs and assessment findings for the situation to improve or worsen based on the nursing actions implemented.
  • The simulations are recorded and then debriefed as a group to discuss what went well, what were the challenges, and what can be done in the future to assure optimal outcomes.
  • Simulations improve administration of medications, treatments, psychomotor skills such as IVs, electronic documentation and handling advanced equipment. That dexterity and ability to work quickly may be critical in saving a patient someday. So many students tell us how they remembered what do for a patient based on what they learned in simulation.