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LCCC Tamaqua introduces new nursing training center

The tools to become a nurse are in the heart of Tamaqua.

A new nursing training facility at the LCCC Tamaqua campus offers everything a student needs to succeed.

A ribbon tying ceremony was held at the Scheller Center on Monday, as community members received a first look at the brand-new Scheller Nursing Simulation Center.

“What we’re seeing here right now is actually the latest and greatest state of the art facility for the training of the next generation of nurses in our area,” said Lisa Scheller, Silberline chairman, who has been very active in the growth of Tamaqua’s LCCC campus.

“And it’s happening right here in Tamaqua, so it’s really a great day.”

The venue, which years ago used to be an old firehouse, has been completely remodeled. A lab for nursing education includes high and low fidelity nursing simulation equipment, control room, classroom, debriefing area and meeting space.

Scheller explained her relationship with LCCC dates back to the early 2000s. She had a vision when she saw the old firehouse.

“It was rundown, it was rodent infested. But I think I am the type of person who likes seeing transformation happen. And transformations not only of buildings, but of the lives that are impacted by those transformations,” Scheller said.

“And what I saw inside today is nothing short of transformational, with all of the high-tech equipment, the simulation labs and how this is going to work and we’re going to train our nurses of the future right here in Tamaqua. It makes me very, very excited.”

State Sen. Dave Argall, R-Schuylkill/Berks, was on site, who has also played a big role in the expansion of LCCC Tamaqua throughout the years.

“If the last 18 months have shown anything, we need nurses now more than ever,” Argall said. “For more than a decade, the United States has been facing critical nursing shortages. These shortages are expected to last for several more years - a minimum of one million registered nurses will be needed by 2030.”

Current LCCC student, Olivia Stanek, is on track to be one of those 1 million nurses. Stanek, who spoke during the ceremony, is a graduate of practical nursing program and is now in the second year of the LCCC RN program.

“I always had it in the back of a mind about becoming a nurse. I figured, with the convenience of the location, I might as well try,” said Stanek, a Tamaqua High School graduate.

“That gave me the opportunity to receive two free years of education if I decided to go to LCCC at the Morgan Campus. After my first semester at LCCC, I had known that I made the right decision. I learned that I loved learning and going to school.”

The venue features three simulation pods meant to mimic the clinical area and support simulation scenarios - an experience which can’t be found any closer to home for Schuylkill students.

“This addition is so great, because now I can take all of my classes, aside from clinical here,” said Stanek.

“Another thing I love about this is how much the instructors and professors truly care for their students. They genuinely want them to succeed, and you don’t feel like just a number.”

Jacqueline Gannon, LCCC Clinical Instructor, demonstrates the capabilities of the high fidelity mother and infant mannequins inside one of the Scheller Nursing Simulation Center's training pods. JUSTIN CARLUCCI/TIMES NEWS
The classroom area of the building. JUSTIN CARLUCCI/TIMES NEWS