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New facility at Lehman College set to help combat nursing shortage

Lehman College finding solutions to nursing shortage
Lehman College finding solutions to nursing shortage 02:18

NEW YORK - Lehman College in the Bronx is coming up with solutions to help combat the nursing shortage in the borough and across the city.

They say with their brand-new, state-of-the-art nursing facility on campus, they'll be able to train more students with the best tools.

"It looks bigger than an ER," said instructor Carmen Muguercia.

Besides its tranquility, it looks like a real hospital. But around the corner, nursing students are interacting with a life-like mannequin simulation for the very first time. It's all controlled by their instructor from the other room.

"I can control his heart rate, his rhythm," said Muguercia.

Muguercia changed the vital signs of the patient to see how the students reacted and how they adapted to the task.

"His pupils dilated," said one student examining the simulation.

The new technology seems so real, it took students by complete surprise at first. 

It's all part of Lehman College's brand new building, which opened its doors for the first time ever in early February. The $95 million investment was in the works for eight years. The city and state are now hopeful it can be a solution to the nursing shortage.

"The phenomenal state-of-the-art facility that we have here would allow Lehman to increase the capacity. Right at a time when we have a shortage of nurses, Lehman is coming to the rescue," said Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, the CUNY Chancellor.

The state says half of the new nurses entering the workforce in the city each year are CUNY graduates. They say the Lehman College program will be a direct pipeline to the nursing workforce.

"I almost wanted to cry because I never thought we were going to have this real life simulation experience," said Vianca Alvarez, a student at Lehman College.

Alvarez, a Bronx native, says the upgraded facility will allow her and her classmates to succeed outside the classroom. She also says it's changing the level of education in the borough.

"Just to have programs like this accessible to us," said Alvarez. "It means the world to us."

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