Fueled by government money totalling $7.5 million to renovate the site of the former Kings County Hospital Center Nursing School, Long Island University (LIU) School of Nursing will launch a satellite BSN program on Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC) grounds. The new LIU nursing education extension is expected to graduate 60 nurses a year, who will filter into New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and other NYC healthcare facilities.
The funds were the result of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to increase and improve the standard of living for city residents, says Dawn F. Kilts, RN, MA, CANP, dean and professor, LIU, Brooklyn Campus, School of Nursing.
Mayor Bloomberg’s strategy is aimed at helping to eliminate poverty in the city by providing educational opportunities to low-income individuals. Education would empower them to get reasonably well-paying jobs and become self-supporting, says Celia Bramble, RN, BSN, MA, MEd, associate executive director, Training and Organizational Development, at KCHC.
At the same time, NYC would benefit by acquiring badly needed nurses for the city’s hospitals.Celia Bramble, RN, Associate Executive Director, Training and Organizational Development, Kings County Hospital Center
These funds were earmarked to open the school and prepare individuals in the community to become nurses, so that they can be hired within NYC, and primarily within [the New York City] Health and Hospitals Corporation, Bramble says.
According to Bramble, nursing students will sign forgivable loan agreements, for which they promise to work with HHC for designated time periods.
HHC will provide the space and one-third of the students (agreeing to pay their tuition), while LIU runs an extension of its program for BS-prepared RNs, Kilts says. The school, will celebrate its grand opening in fall 2009.
The vision of the new school is the same as the vision of LIU School of Nursing, and that is to provide quality education to a diverse student population to serve a diverse patient population, Kilts says. More than 90% of our nursing students are of an ethnic or cultural group that is not white .
Students will be able to choose to go to school at KCHC for their nursing courses. They can transfer their liberal arts or sciences [credits], or start their liberal arts and sciences with us. There are, of course, a lot of student aid and scholarships available. And if they are HHC employees, they may have access to the program through their education programs at work, Kilts says.
LIU plans to tap area nurses with master’s degrees and higher to be adjunct professors at the new site, as well as recruit full-time faculty.
We have increased our salaries for full-time faculty and are hoping that, along with some of the benefits, we will attract more people, Kilts says.
We’ll take in 60 students a year [at KCHC], Kilt continues. [That will be in addition to the] 245 students we have in our first nursing course each year [at LIU] currently.
Founded in 1831 as a one-room infirmary, and today, one of the oldest and largest hospitals in the U.S., KCHCstands to benefit the most, with a yearly influx of new graduates.
This is the beginning of another era for Kings County, Bramble says.