School of Nursing to Unveil Design of New Wing at Groundbreaking

$6.3 Million Expansion Means Jobs and More Nurses to Fight Shortage

October 05, 2004

"This is a truly historic moment in the long history of this School."

Guest speakers, architectural renderings, a reception, and hundreds of supporters will mark the official groundbreaking of the new $6.3 million education wing at the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

The largest expansion in the School’s 75-year history will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Helen Wood Hall on Crittenden Blvd. The 19,500-square-foot expansion will create the new Loretta C. Ford Education Wing, which will help the School increase its student enrollment substantially.

The Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses, which enables people with Bachelor’s degrees to become nurses in as little as one year, will grow (there has been a large waiting list due to capacity limitations). Increasingly, these students are coming from outside the region, which is critical as our area competes with the entire country for nurses during the current nursing shortage. This year, 38% of new students in the program came from a national pool, up from 12%, and 71% of the School’s graduates have gone into bedside nursing, directly improving the shortage problem.

The capital campaign for the expansion also is helping to fund scholarships, new faculty positions, additional renovations, community nursing programs and several research and practice centers within the School. Designs for the new wing include a high-tech auditorium and some of the latest in education innovations: facilities for wireless computing, distance learning, and laptop docking stations.

“This is a truly historic moment in the long history of this School,” says Patricia Chiverton, dean of the School of Nursing. “The community has rallied around us with tremendous support. We plan to repay their generosity by graduating more of the best-trained nurses, developing our research centers, and creating leaders in the field through our specialty degree programs.”

The new wing is named for Dean Emeritus Loretta “Lee” Ford, internationally renowned for creating the profession of the Nurse Practitioner. She will be one of several honored guest speakers. Also speaking will be Dean Chiverton; C. McCollister “Mac” Evarts, Senior Vice President And Vice Provost For Health Affairs and Medical Center CEO; Roger Friedlander, Chair of the University of Rochester Medical Center Board; Bob Hurlbut, Chair of the Future of Care Campaign that raised funds for the expansion; Thomas Jackson, University of Rochester President; and Bob Witmer, president of the University Board of Trustees.

            The speakers also will join Sean McEntee, President of the Student Nurses Association, with ceremonial shovels to officially break ground on the expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in just under a year.

            Nationwide, there are roughly 126,000 nursing vacancies. By 2008, estimates project a shortage of 575,000 nurses. Many nursing programs – including those at the University of Rochester – have had to turn away qualified applicants because of capacity restraints.

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