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University hosts School of Nursing opening, building dedication

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
August 26, 2010

Texas State University-San Marcos dedicated the new Nursing Building on the Round Rock campus Aug. 26 and celebrated the opening of the St. David's School of Nursing by welcoming the inaugural class of 98 nursing students.

The St. David's School of Nursing is part of the College of Health Professions, established at Texas State in 1972.

"The nursing faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to manage details about the building itself and to recruit the junior-level students who will be the charter class," said Texas State President Denise Trauth. "The nursing curriculum is as state-of-the-art as the building that will house it.

"Students will work with 76 manikins who can do things like speak three languages and have 23 babies in one day. Actors will portray every ailment from heart attacks to broken limbs," she said. "The building is truly magnificent – beautiful itself and complementary to the Avery Building, the first structure on the Round Rock campus."

In 2006, St. David’s Foundation announced that it would donate $6 million to Texas State University-San Marcos to help establish a nursing school at Texas State’s Round Rock Higher Education Center. Additional support was later added by Scott and White and Central Texas Medical Center. St. David’s representatives noted that nursing education programs in Texas were at capacity, and that there exists a critical need for more nurses in Central Texas and across the state.

“I cannot overstate how delighted the Foundation was to be able to step up and provide the funding when Texas State came to us with the idea of a new nursing school," said Earl Maxwell, CEO of St. David’s Foundation. "We know of the critical nursing shortage from firsthand experience, and we know that with the growth expected for Central Texas, we will need even more top-notch local nurses than ever. This school will go a long way toward meeting that need."

Texas stands well below the national average of 825 nurses per 100,000 population, and with the state’s growth rate, the need for more educational facilities for nursing is urgent. With Americans living longer and the bulk of the nursing workforce nearing retirement, the need for nurses is expected to grow by 23 percent with 587,000 new jobs being created between 2006 and 2016.

"We are embarking on a critical juncture in health care and nursing will be called upon to play a role in the transformed health care system," said Marla Erbin-Roesemann, director of the St. David's School of Nursing. "With this state of the art building and program, Texas State has positioned itself to assume a role in preparing a technology-savvy nursing workforce who is capable of providing health care for the citizens of Texas in the 21st century."

The three-story, 79,000-square-foot building is equipped with the latest technology infrastructure and teaching advancements. The building's design is based on the latest research in both education and nursing, and incorporates on-site and online educational capabilities.

"I have great expectations for the School of Nursing and of this first class of nursing students," said Ruth Welborn, dean of the College of Health Professions. "Today, we are moving forward with a School of Nursing that has taken a campus community working together to reach this point, with our first class of nursing students, new faculty and staff and this lovely building."

Other Nursing Building features:

  • Critical care, medical, surgical, obstetric, home care and outpatient clinics are all represented in the modern simulation labs equipped with the latest healthcare and computer technology.
  • A full range of manikins representing all age groups, equipped with the latest high-fidelity, computerized and interactive features, and capable of running care scenarios and responding to care provided by the students, add to the real-world environment of the labs.
  • The entire building and outdoor gathering spaces support a wireless environment, including laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and student response systems.
  • Spacious and comfortable gathering and study areas encourage student and faculty inspiration and collaboration, while meeting spaces promote community and interdisciplinary support.

“Our thanks and congratulations go to President Trauth and all the leadership at Texas State University for their dedication to bringing this nursing school to reality," Maxwell said. "It has been a pleasure working with them.”

The Round Rock Campus is located at 1555 University Boulevard in Round Rock. For more information, contact University News Service at (512) 245-2180.

About St. David’s Foundation

The vision of St. David’s Foundation is to keep the promise of a better life by improving health and health care for all Central Texans. As a joint owner of St. David’s HealthCare, the Foundation achieves its goals by investing the proceeds from the hospitals back into Central Texas. In 2010, the Foundation will directly invest $27 million in the community through grants to mental health agencies, agencies serving the elderly, ill and homeless, and many of the area’s private safety net clinics, and the St. David’s Dental Program. For more information on St. David’s Foundation, visit www.stdavidsfoundation.org.