HCN News & Notes

Berkshire Community College to Receive $350,000 for Nursing Simulation Equipment

PITTSFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, visited Berkshire Community College (BCC) to announce a $350,000 earmark for upgrades to the nursing program’s simulation equipment.

The allocation was made possible through congressionally directed spending (CDS) from the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Neal submitted funding for this project in the FY 2022 spending bill that was signed into law earlier this year.

“I was proud to fight for this funding for BCC that will allow for the first substantive upgrade to this important nursing training equipment since 2009,” Neal said. “This equipment will enhance the technical skill level of students and prepare them to adequately meet the workforce needs of the Berkshire County healthcare community.”

BCC Dean of Nursing Lori Moon added that “there are so many studies that support the implementation of simulation experiences into nursing education. Simulation enables students to practice clinical decision-making skills in a protected environment while enhancing students’ confidence, promoting patient safety and making the connection between theory and nursing practice. We are so excited to add to the state-of-the-art, high-fidelity simulation equipment we already have in place in our sim lab.”

New equipment will include newborn, pediatric, and adult models; patient monitors; wound-care kits and accompanying software; an electronic medical record program; an Omnicell medication dispenser; and crash carts, all designed to prepare nursing students for what they will experience in a clinical setting.

BCC has offered an an associate degree in nursing since 1969. The college also offers a one-year licensed practical nurse certificate program and collaborates with UMass Amherst to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing. A partnership among BCC, Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) and its affiliates, and others — including Berkshire Place, Mount Carmel Care Center, and Lee HealthCare — provides clinical training and employment opportunities for graduates. BCC also works with BHS to offer a 90-hour certified nursing assistant program several times annually.