By Rachel Morse, Multimedia Editor
After opening its classrooms in January 2011, the Kramer School of Nursing East is near completion.
The third floor, which was left unfinished due to limited funds, is expected to be completed at the start of the spring semester, said Dr. Lois Salmeron, associate dean and professor of nursing.
Having the Nursing School East is an essential part to the school’s growth, Salmeron said.
“The need for a bigger building was just dramatic,” she said.
The university needed almost two million dollars to finish the third floor of the East building, Salmeron said. All except about $200,000 of the funding has come in from sources ranging from anonymous donors to grants.
Salmeron said the effort to finish fundraising is still ongoing.
“We didn’t want to go into debt finishing this thing out,” she said.
The school’s staff meets with contractor Win Construction every two weeks to ensure the third floor will be ready for classes next semester, Salmeron said. Along with classrooms, the additional floor will have large meeting rooms and catering areas for large events.
The nursing school is growing in other areas as well.
Salmeron said this is the eleventh year in a row the school has had record enrollments. Enrollment for this semester is up twelve percent from Fall 2011.
The school went from 16 graduates in 2002 to graduating a class of 183 last May, Salmeron said. She said this growth started with the addition of Dean Marvel L. Williamson to the school several years ago.
“She is a tremendous visionary,” Salmeron said.
Several other groundbreaking measures for the school include the introduction of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, an induction ceremony of the new nursing students for the fall semester and a schoolwide code of ethics.
Just three weeks into the program, Jessica Benda, first-year DNP graduate, said she already knows the school will provide her with a valuable learning experience.
“It’s going to be a hard road ahead, but worth it,” Benda said.