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St. David's Foundation gives $6 million for Texas State nursing school

Date of Release: 11/09/2006

AUSTIN — St. David's Community Health Foundation has donated $6 million to Texas State University-San Marcos to help establish a school of nursing at Texas State's Round Rock Higher Education Center.

The gift was announced Thursday, Nov. 9, at a news conference at St. David's Medical Center in Austin. It will be used as start-up funding to hire new faculty, equip laboratories and offset other costs for a new school of nursing, until the school becomes self-sustaining.

In recognition for the donation, Texas State President Denise M. Trauth announced the school will be named the St. David's School of Nursing at Texas State University-San Marcos when it opens.

"We are grateful for the St. David's Foundation's generosity and foresight. This is not just a gift to Texas State, it is a gift to Texas. It will allow us to establish a new school of nursing at considerably less cost to the taxpayer than previously expected," said Trauth.

Dick Moeller, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation, said the gift will help Texas State address an essential need in Texas � a severe shortage of nurses.

"We are pleased to be a partner with Texas State in this important effort," said Moeller. "Nursing education programs in Texas are at full capacity and the need for more nurses is critical. "

Current data shows that Texas has 646 registered nurses per 100,000 population, compared to the national average of 825.

Trauth said she would go before the Texas Legislature for additional funds to establish the nursing school. The Legislature has previously approved tuition revenue bonds for a second building at the Round Rock Higher Education Center that will house the school of nursing. If debt service on those bonds is approved during the upcoming legislative session, the university plans to break ground in the spring of 2008.

The first class of 100 junior-level students would be admitted to the school in the fall of 2010, with the first graduating class scheduled for the spring of 2012.

The proposed St. David's School of Nursing at Texas State University will be housed in Texas State's College of Health Professions. Other programs offered by the college are clinical laboratory science, communication disorders, health administration, health information systems, health services research, healthcare human resources, health information management, radiation therapy, physical therapy and social work.