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Family’s heartfelt donation will enhance hands-on learning at School of Nursing’s Simulation Center

The Louderback family’s donation to the Liberty University School of Nursing was recognized with the naming of the Louderback Fundamental Skills Lab. Left to right: Andrea, Scott, and Kristen Louderback. (Photo by Jasmine McKeever)

Over the past four years, Scott and Andrea Louderback of Brentwood, Tenn., have watched their daughter, Kristen, pursue her passion for nursing through Liberty University’s School of Nursing (LUSON), where she has learned to treat patients with expertise and the love of Christ. As a gesture of thankfulness on Kristen’s behalf and support for those who will follow in her footsteps, the Louderback family recently made a generous donation to fund new equipment for the school’s Simulation Center, and in return, the school has named its primary skills lab after the family in Kristen’s honor.

The donation funded the purchase of two MedVision Auscultation Task Trainer (MATT) devices, life-size recreations of head and torso (an adult and a child) with visible and audible representations of the heart, lungs, and abdomen. The MATTs will also be available to undergraduate and doctoral students and faculty outside of the lab.

“They come with software that the instructor uses to give them normal and abnormal sounds, allowing the students to hear the difference and learn the physiology of what those sounds mean,” said Lisa Foote, executive director of simulation and standardized patients. “These are upgrades because, unlike a past one we’ve used, it lights up the position on the torso that the student needs to listen to for the given task. They will not just be used in the lab, as I’ve offered them to faculty to use in their lectures and demonstrations.”

The donation also paid for the replacement of some of the school’s hospital beds.

LUSON Interim Dean Dr. Tracey Turner explains the MATT devices during a dedication ceremony for the renamed skills lab. (Photo by Ryan Klinker)

“We are blessed and thankful to have someone who cares enough about what we do, about their daughter’s educational experience here, and wants to continue that learning experience for others,” Foote said of the Louderback family.

A plaque bearing Kristen’s name and the lab’s new title, the Louderback Fundamental Skills Lab, was unveiled on Feb. 23 in a small ceremony attended by the Louderback family, LUSON Interim Dean Dr. Tracey Turner, Senior Vice President of Development Brian Mentzer, and nursing students.

After the unveiling, Scott Louderback was invited to share his heart behind the donation.

“We’re so excited for you all to have this technology, and we’re so grateful for Liberty University,” he said. “Kristen was passionate about having a Christian education, about being somewhere that would align with her faith and live that faith out, and (she) picked a great program. It was important to us that, when we find a place that aligns with our values and has done such a wonderful job in training Kristen and other nurses, we wanted to give back and honor the school that honored our wishes and values when we sent her here.”

“We need more nurses who rely on Christ and their faith to provide care, and we couldn’t think of a better place that can impact that than Liberty University,” he added after the ceremony. “When a Liberty nurse goes into the nursing field, we’re not only confident that they’ll provide the highest quality of nursing care, but they’re also going to provide spiritual care.”

Turner briefly spoke about Kristen’s impact on the LUSON community, including her service to the school’s Promise Project, a mentorship program within the Liberty University Nursing Student Association. The lab plaque features a passage from Scripture that Turner said encapsulates Kristen’s heart for helping others.

(Photo by Ryan Klinker)

“Kristen has been a mentor to people who are rising in the program, and I think it’s appropriate that she chose Galatians 6:2, which says to ‘carry each other’s load,’ because that’s what the Promise Project does.”

After seeing the plaque bearing her name, which was a surprise to her, Kristen remarked on her time at Liberty, which will come to an end when she graduates in May.

“My experience here at Liberty has been wonderful, and I feel like all of the professors are so invested in our lives,” she said. “This is a great testament to how many people have poured into my life, and I really appreciate having this dedicated and named after me. This is a product of people’s love shown to me. The Lord has given me such amazing opportunities as I’ve studied here, and I hope that all the future students are just as inspired as I was.”

Each week, nursing students from baccalaureate to doctoral program levels utilize the Simulation Center, which has over 14,000 square feet of space. Students actively participate in high-fidelity simulation twice a week, with faculty dedicated to increasing safety, confidence, and competence in the clinical experience. The center is fully accredited in teaching and education by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).

“Our simulation center allows our students to practice and use skills in a safe environment,” Foote said. “They can’t harm a patient while they’re just learning and inevitably making mistakes, and they are doing this under the guidance of a faculty member or simulation team member. It’s also non-punitive, meaning they’re not being graded when they’re in simulation, and it’s non-judgmental because they’re all learning as a team. Patient outcome is the ultimate goal of all of this, so we want to teach our student nurses to treat patients the best way they can.”

Video by Jasmine McKeever

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