Local philanthropist donates $350,000 to VIU’S new nursing simulation lab

September 21, 2012 - 7:28am

Thanks to the generous support of local philanthropist Sidney Sharman, VIU nursing students will now be able to get critical hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab to be built on the Nanaimo campus. Sharman’s donation of $350,000 combined with initial funding from Windsor Plywood ensures the funds are now secure to complete this critical project.

“I think there’s no better profession to support than nursing. After all, everyone needs a nurse, from the minute they’re born, to the minute they die. If I can help ensure Vancouver Island has some of the best trained nurses by supporting this lab, then I think that’s an excellent investment.” Sharman, who is VIU’s largest private donor, has been a long-time supporter of the university’s nursing students, having donated $1 million in 2009 to support substantial annual scholarships for fourth year nursing students.

Dr. Carol Stuart, Dean of Health and Human Services, expressed the nursing department’s appreciation for Sharman’s generosity by saying, “Vancouver Island University’s health care programs (BSN, PN and HCA) take a relational approach to teaching and practice and value Mr. Sharman’s personal approach to supporting our students and faculty over the years. This donation will make it possible for our nursing and health care programs to offer exceptional lab based experiences, ensuring our students are more confident and capable heading into clinical practice with patients.”

VIU’s nursing program is helping to address the shortage of essential health care professionals on Vancouver Island and throughout BC. A simulation lab is a critical learning tool as it duplicates a clinical practice setting as closely as possible including room design, furniture, ‘patient’ mannequins and medical equipment. The rooms are rated as low-, medium- or high-fidelity depending on how similar they are to a real-life experience. This new simulation lab will be rated high-fidelity, ensuring VIU’s nursing students are getting the best training possible in a dedicated learning space where they can apply their theoretical knowledge in a safe environment and gain a complete educational experience.


For more information, contact Julie Keenan, Director, Advancement & Alumni Relations, at 250.740.6602 or julie.keenan@viu.ca.

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