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Emory School of Nursing celebrates state-of-the-art Emory Nursing Learning Center
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Lauren Powers
Director of Communications and Marketing
School of Nursing building

Photo by Jack Kearse

The Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Emory Nursing Learning Center (ENLC) in downtown Decatur on Friday, September 16.

The ENLC is a $20.6 million, 70,000-square-foot expansion featuring state-of-the-art simulation and professional development space designed to prepare students to engage in interactive technology and experiential learning environments that will enable them to be the next generation of nurse leaders.

Created to address the significant nursing shortage in the United States, the Emory Nursing Learning Center serves students of all levels, from undergraduates to continuing education students and advanced practice nursing professionals.

“We are excited to provide this immersive learning experience for our students,” said Linda McCauley, dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. “This realistic environment featuring state-of-the-art classrooms and simulation lab space will uniquely prepare our students to care for patients in a wide variety of clinical and home health settings. When you step into the building, you know that you have arrived at a place dedicated to preparing nurse leaders.”

Features of the ENLC include in-person and remote learning capabilities, an Innovation Hub designed as a space to nurture new ideas to meet rising health care challenges, the CenterWell Home Health Lab replicating a small apartment, and one of the most extensive simulation and skills labs in the state of Georgia. The simulation labs include mock telehealth, clinical, and hospital settings with high-tech equipment.

“The opening of the Emory Nursing Learning Center is a milestone for the world-renowned Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing,” said Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. “The ENLC will provide our nursing students with unparalleled opportunities for experiential learning, preparing them to become leaders and provide compassionate, targeted support for patients throughout their careers.”

Located just minutes from the main Emory University campus, the ENLC seeks to transform today’s nursing student experience. Spaces include a studio media center, classrooms, student commons areas, offices, and conference rooms. The facility also serves as the home of the Emory Nursing Experience, a partnership with Emory Healthcare that provides continuing professional education opportunities to nurses.

“At Emory Nursing, we share a commitment of life-long learning for all levels of nursing, certification, and continuing education,” said Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare. “Quality professional development is the heart of the new Emory Nursing Learning Center. The building’s simulation technology provides realistic laboratories for nurses to practice as if they are in actual clinical situations. This prepares both new and experienced registered nurses and advanced practice nurses to thrive in a multitude of complex clinical practice settings. This preparation is a large part of creating a smooth transition from classroom to the practice setting, and from student to expert clinician.”

“The Emory Nursing Learning Center is at the cutting-edge of nursing education and will enhance the Woodruff Health Sciences Center’s mission to improve the health of individuals and communities at home and throughout the world,” said David S. Stephens, MD, Emory’s interim executive vice president for health affairs and interim executive director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. “In the face of a critical nationwide nursing shortage, the need for nurses has never been more evident. The ENLC will directly address this shortage by preparing nurse leaders to serve their communities in a multitude of practice settings.” 

Fenves, McCauley, Pappas, and Stephens took part in the official ribbon-cutting, as did Emory Board of Trustees member John Rice, 2022 Master of Nursing Class President Jadaria Thomas, Decatur City Commissioner Kelly Walsh, and DeKalb Chamber of Commerce President Frankie Atwater.

The Emory Nursing Learning Center opened to students last month, while continuing education opportunities through the Emory Nursing Experience have taken place in the center since fall 2021.

About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing produces nurse leaders who are transforming healthcare through science, education, practice, and policy. Graduates go on to become national and international leaders in patient care, public health, government, research, and education. Others become qualified to seek certification as nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives. The doctor of nurse practice (DNP) program trains nurse anesthetists and advanced leaders in healthcare administration. The school also maintains a PhD program in partnership with Emory's Laney Graduate School. For more information, visit

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