Skip to main content


Hearing Voices SimulationWe see them at the grocery store, the post office, and around town going about their normal activities. But for those afflicted with auditory hallucinations, or hearing voices, there is an internal battle raging that requires extreme focus and concentration to complete the simplest task.

Students in Southside Virginia Community College’s Practical Nursing School recently took part in a hearing voices simulation at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE). The goal of the simulation was to provide students with a glimpse into the world of individuals living with this particular type of mental illness.

“This is one of our most popular simulation experiences for healthcare students,” said Ann Switzer, Associate Director of the CNE. “The experience can also be adapted for training with emergency providers, policemen, and other groups who interact with the general public as part of their jobs.”

Drew Morris

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) announces Drew Morris has accepted the position of Simulation Technologist for the Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE). As Simulation Technologist, Morris will be responsible for providing operational and technical support for the CNE's clinical learning lab. The CNE is part of the Workforce Services department at the SVHEC with Ann Switzer as Associate Director.  “I am so excited about adding Drew to the CNE and Workforce Services team.  His technology expertise and enthusiasm for developing our programming are going to make a big difference for us,” Switzer said.

Morris is a familiar face at the SVHEC, having served as IT Specialist since 2010. In that position he provided help desk support, computer lab management, and network maintenance. Morris is a Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Desktop Support Technician and Technology Specialist. He holds additional certifications in computer diagnosis and repair.



 HRHS Adam Harrell (Emergency Services Coordinator)
watches as a med student practices uses SimBaby
to perform an infant umbilical cord procedure. 
The simulation lab in the Center of Nursing Excellence at The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center was recently put to good use by the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) students currently doing clinical rotations with Halifax Regional Health System.

The students, with guidance from Dr. Lovetta Pugh and Dr. Ed Purvis, Halifax Regional medical staff, as well as staff from both the Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE) and Halifax Regional Hospital, participated in five lab rotations during which they practiced numerous clinical skills including central line insertion, power port access, ultrasound, PICC line insertion, chest tube insertion, intubation, baby umbilical artery catheter placement, Foley catheter insertion, tracheotomy change, peripheral IV insertion and animal tissue suturing.

Each station contained a lifelike manikin or model upon which the students could hone their skills.

Ann Switzer

Ann F. Switzer, RN, MSN, has accepted the position of Associate Director for the Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE) at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC). As Associate Director, Switzer will be responsible for oversight of CNE operations including staffing and budget management, and working with educational and training partners to expand the programs and services available in the Center of Nursing Excellence. The CNE is an initiative of the SVHEC and part of the Workforce Services @ SVHEC division.  

Switzer comes to the CNE from Mecklenburg County Public Schools where she has served as Nursing Director since 2004. Switzer brings a wealth of experience to her new role as CNE Associate Director, including working for more than 10 years as a staff RN with specialty areas in orthopedics, surgical services, renal transplant coordination, and outpatient clinic services. A native of Clarksville, Virginia, Switzer spent 22 years in Florida with successful careers in business and nursing before returning home to Southern Virginia in 2004. “We are thrilled to welcome the return of another Southside ‘star.’ Ann Switzer’s education, experience, and skills are a perfect match for the CNE, one of the SVHEC’s premier signature educational pathway programs,” said SVHEC Executive Director Dr. Betty H. Adams.


 CNE Receives Donation

“Chester Chest” has joined the ranks of educational tools in the Center of Nursing Excellence at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center thanks to the generosity of the Volunteer Auxiliary of Halifax Regional Health System.

The model joins other manikins used to train nursing and medical students. Chester will be used by nursing students to perfect medication administration through peripherally inserted central catheters, implanted ports and central venous catheters. They will also be able to practice sterile technique and dressing changes for the vascular access devices. Medical students will use the model to learn vascular access routes, chemotherapy site access and peripherally inserted central catheter placement.

“Dr. Lovetta Pugh, one of Halifax Regional Hospital’s surgical medical staff, recognized the need for such a tool,” states Jeaux Simmons, coordinator of volunteer services for Halifax Regional Health System, “and approached the auxiliary about purchasing it for the Center of Nursing Excellence. Because one of the auxiliary’s main interests is supporting continuing medical education, the auxiliary board of directors approved of the idea and was pleased to proceed with the purchase.”

“We are looking forward to introducing “Chester” to our students,” states Cindy Cole, nursing simulation lab specialist at the Center of Nursing Excellence. “He is a wonderful addition to the training tools we currently use and we are excited about putting him to work.”