by Jeanette McNeill (Nursing) and Phil Youngblood (Computer Information Systems)
Since 1881, the University of the Incarnate Word has been synonymous with top notch education and training in nursing and health care professions and the newly renovated nursing building will maintain UIW’s status as having one of the best educational facilities of its kind in the southwestern U.S. All this last summer and fall nursing faculty and students have anxiously awaited dedication of the new Ila Fay Miller School of Nursing building that finally took place on Wednesday, January 19, 2011!
Visit the completely renovated building and the first thing you will notice is the addition of a 14,500 square foot third floor that increases classroom and lab space by 50%. Considering that hundreds of nursing jobs go wanting in San Antonio for lack of registered nurses and that the situation will only grow worse as members of the “baby boom” generation age and retire in the next years, UIW’s new nursing building with its increased student capacity is much welcomed by the entire community, especially when many of UIW’s nursing graduates are bilingual and reflect the demographics of city.
Added spaces include the CIRCLe, the Center for Innovative Research and Clinical Learning, a state-of-the-art hospital simulation facility that includes ICU and OB units, IV pumps, defibrillators, and medical imaging equipment that enable students to practice diagnostic and situational skills in a true-to-life environment. Renovations include larger and updated classrooms and more office space to accommodate increased enrollment while maintaining accreditation and academic excellence.
The new technologies of the Ila Fay Miller School of Nursing building are but one indication of the 21st century nature of UIW’s nursing programs. UIW is investigating hybrid and blended classroom environments and UIW’s Master of Nursing program is helping to lead the way. During the Spring 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters, two Master of Nursing courses taught by the authors have explored the use of technologies including 3D virtual environments for holding class sessions and for conducting training simulations. A dedication ceremony for a newly constructed virtual School of Nursing on “UIW Cardinal” island in Second Life was conducted a day after that for the Ila Fay Miller School of Nursing building and the virtual building will be used to experiment with training simulations to complement those conducted with the new technologies in the Ila Fay Miller School of Nursing.
[Pictured in the group photo are Tatiana Spiritweaver (Irene Gilliland), DeanLight (Dean Kathi Light), LouAgnese Texas (Dr. Louis Agnese), Jeanne Texan (Dr. Jeanette McNeill), HaCathree (Hazel Reece) and TonyTorres (Tony Torres), with Bunny Tully (Judith Vance), Caris Dominquez (Deb Youngblood) and Robert Sandalwood (Robert Sackett) in participation.]
Avatars representing UIW’s President Agnese (LouAgnese Texan in Second Life) and Dean Kathi Light (DeanLight) officiated at the virtual ceremony and the speech given during Wednesday’s ceremony was read, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Also present at the ceremony were avatars representing the authors and nursing faculty and students. Special guests included Judith Vance (Bunny Tully in Second Life), a UIW alumnus who built the School of Nursing and many other campus buildings on UIW Cardinal island, and Deb Youngblood (Caris Dominquez), a UIW adjunct who built other structures on UIW’s virtual campus. Following the virtual dedication, the group toured the virtual facility that is being equipped to complement the CIRCLe facility and then teleported over to Medical School island where they worked together to solve an intravenous (IV) occlusion simulation in a virtual medical clinic owned by the Imperial College of London.
As modern communication and visualization technologies become increasingly sophisticated, the lines between the conventional and virtual classroom environments are starting to blur. This spring, Dr. McNeill’s course entitled “Technology in Nursing Education” is attended by six Masters’, post-Masters’, and doctoral students, one of whom is teaching in a school of nursing in Hawaii while taking the course.
View the progress of the Nursing Building renovation and expansion, slated for completion in Spring, 2011.
The Nursing Building will be remodeled and expanded, and the latest equipment purchased, to ensure that UIW’s School of Nursing and Health Professions maintains its reputation as one of the best in the Southwest. A new addition will be built, the main lecture hall and second-floor classrooms will be remodeled, and existing space will be transformed into a “mock-up,” fully equipped hospital setting, rewired with the latest technology. These improvements will make the nursing facility a top-notch, 21st Century complex.
Benefits to Students
• Learn in a mock-up of a model hospital setting fully equipped with defibrillators, IV pumps, ICUs and OB units and medical imaging modalities will allow students to gain confidence through first-hand experiences.
• Receive hands-on training with current technology, including computerized patient simulators, with which students can practice diagnostic skills in near true-life experiences.
Benefits to Faculty
• With updated technology, faculty can provide the highest quality education available in a university classroom and laboratory setting.
• The newly remodeled, high-tech building will attract and retain qualified prospective faculty as instructors.
Benefits to Community and Stakeholders
• A modern facility will attract qualified students to the program, many of them Hispanics, who will solve the nursing shortage in San Antonio and South Texas.
• Many students who graduate from UIW’s nursing program will remain in San Antonio as bilingual nurses.
• Highly visible naming opportunities are available for prospective donors.
Since its inception in 1881, University of the Incarnate Word has continued its mission of providing quality education to nursing students dedicated to serving in San Antonio and throughout South Texas after graduation. Nursing and UIW have been synonymous for decades. The first accredited baccalaureate school of nursing west of the Mississippi was established here in the 1930s and remains one of the institute’s largest, most successful programs. Among its many graduates are five Brigadier Generals of the U.S. Armed Services, including Lillian Dunlap, the first female Brigadier General of the Army.
According to a nationwide study done by NurseWeek magazine, hospital recruiters continue to scour the country trying to fill chronically empty nursing positions in hospitals. In San Antonio alone, there are between 800 and 1,000 registered nursing jobs at hospitals that are currently vacant. The situation will worsen in the next decade as baby boomers retire, leading to a reduced pool of potential nurses coupled with an increased demand for health services.
The long-term goal of the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is to retain and graduate students, in particular students from underserved and minority populations, as qualified nurses to meet the rising demand for this profession. Investing in education at an institution like UIW where the majority of nursing students are Hispanic is critical to assuring a future workforce qualified to fill vacancies in the profession. Nurses graduating from UIW also have a great economic impact. Approximately 80 new graduates per year, each earning an average salary of $45,000, will generate an additional $3,600,000 in income for the community.
To meet this long-term goal, UIW will address these specific objectives:
• To increase the number of UIW graduates from the School of Nursing & Health Professions;
• To increase student recruitment potential and retention by making learning spaces and labs in the 38-year-old Nursing Building integrated with today’s technology;
• To integrate more technologically advanced equipment in practice labs to improve students’ critical thinking skills and training; and,
• To use classroom technology to standardize students’ clinical experiences and to help compensate for a shortage of nursing faculty that affects universities nationwide.
The UIW School of Nursing and Health Professions is one of the university’s most highly respected programs, because it proactively addresses the critical shortage of nurses, and in particular, minority nurses, in the San Antonio and South Texas region. UIW’s graduation rate is 60% of students who enrolled in the program, better than the Texas statewide average of 50%. UIW’s graduation rate could improve by as much as 15% – to a 75% graduation rate – over the next five years if the School of Nursing creates an educational environment with space that is conducive to mentoring and small-group learning.
UIW will raise $6,300,000 to update the facility that houses the School of Nursing and Health Professions. The current, two-story building has only 29,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories and offices. UIW will add a third floor, comprising 14,500 square feet, to the Nursing Building, thus increasing classroom and laboratory space by 50%. This increase in space will lead to an increase in enrollment by 50%! With the expansion, up to 40 more students can then be admitted annually into the degree program, increasing the average number of new Nursing students from 80 to 120 per year.
This three-story addition will contain larger classrooms, a new laboratory, and more office space to accommodate increased enrollment in the Nursing program, while still meeting the stringent accreditation standards. Existing space will be used more efficiently with updated, remodeled classroom and laboratory facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and health-care training equipment. By providing a modern, updated facility, UIW’s mission of educational excellence, service and social justice will continue to be met.
Expanding the Nursing School building fits with UIW’s vision of creating new graduate schools to increase the number of health care professionals serving Texas. The Feik School of Pharmacy will graduate its first class of 70 professional pharmacists in 2010. The new UIW School of Optometry starts this fall with an inaugural class of 63 students. After graduating, many of these new professionals will return to their hometowns and regions to serve the health care needs of their communities.
Thanks to the generous support from friends and alumni, the Mabee Foundation Challenge was completed on July 15. We are thankful to Dr. Teddy Jones ‘66 and Jennifer Staubach Gates ’88 for heading up the successful letter campaign to alumni. We are especially grateful to UIW Trustee John Miller and his wife Vladimira who closed out the Mabee challenge gap to complete the campaign. Our goal from Mabee was to raise $4,496,500 in one year. For reaching that goal, the foundation contributed $800,000 to our project for a total of $5,296,500 raised.
We began our construction in May, temporarily relocating our School of Nursing to our Northwest campus. We are currently renovating and adding a third floor to the building comprising 14,500 square feet, which will allow us to increase our enrollment by fifty percent. Our plan is to complete the project and move the faculty and students back into the new building in January 2011. However, because of the ability to add a third floor to the current structure, the cost of the building increased to $6.3 million. Thus, we are in the process of finalizing campaign efforts because of the increased size and construction costs.
School of Nursing and Health Professions Quick Facts
• Founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who also founded Santa Rosa Infirmary in 1869 (now CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System).
• Celebrated 75th anniversary in 2006; offering degrees in nursing since the 1930s.
• First accredited baccalaureate school of nursing west of the Mississippi.
• Degrees offered include Nursing (BSN, MSN, MSN/MBA), Nuclear Medicine Science (BS), Athletic Training (BS), Kinesiology: (BS, MS), & Sports Management (BBA, MBA, MAA).
• 800-1,000 jobs unfilled in San Antonio alone for nurses.
• 80-90% of UIW nursing graduates stay in San Antonio and South Texas.
• Hugely successful military nurse program including five Brigadier Generals of the US Armed Services. UIW alumna, Lillian Dunlap, was the first female Brigadier General of the Army. Three UIW graduates served as Chief, Army Nurse Corps and two as Chiefs of the Air Force Nurse Corps. UIW is host to one of the largest health professions ROTC units in the state of Texas.
• Over 700 students are in the School of Nursing and Health Professions for the school year 2009-2010. Health Professions majors are one of the fastest growing groups at UIW.
• Hundreds of hours of nursing services donated to low-income Hispanic residents and 1,000 clients helped through Ministerio de Salud, a health ministry program in partnership with St. Phillip of Jesus parish.
• In 2009 89% of nursing graduates passed the State RN licensing exam on the first attempt.
• UIW was the first nursing program in Texas to offer the MSN graduate specialty of “Clinical Nurse Leader”.
• The only degree program in Nuclear Medicine in Texas.
• The renovation and expansion of the nursing building at UIW will allow us to increase enrollment by 50% and to implement structured learning experiences using state-of-the-art simulated clinical experiences.
School of Nursing and Health Professions Renovation And Expansion Plans
In the 1970’s, the nursing building was an excellent instructional facility. In 2010, it is in need of significant renovation and expansion to meet growing enrollment. To address these needs, we began a campaign in 2007 which today has raised more than $4.8 million toward a $6.3 million goal to bring the facility into the 21st Century.
The nursing building will be remodeled and expanded, and the latest equipment purchased to ensure that UIW’s School of Nursing and Health Professions maintains its reputation as one of the best in the Southwest. A third floor will be built, the main lecture hall and second-floor classrooms will be remodeled, and existing space will be transformed into a “mock-up,” fully equipped hospital setting, rewired with the latest technology.
The new third floor and renovated building will contain larger classrooms, a new laboratory, auditorium and office space to accommodate increased enrollment in the Nursing Program, while still meeting stringent accreditation standards.
The renovation and expansion will allow us to increase enrollment by 50% and to implement structured student learning experiences using state-of-the-art simulated clinical experiences.
The Mabee Foundation of Oklahoma has been a generous supporter of UIW contributing funds to the Mabee Library, the Math, Science and Engineering Campaign and the Feik School of Pharmacy. We are thankful to report that the Mabee Foundation generously committed an $800,000 Challenge Grant in the summer of 2009 to the School of Nursing and Health Professions.
This Challenge is very important to completing the campaign. In order to receive the $800,000 grant, we must raise the remaining funds required by Mabee, now totaling $482,000, by July 15, 2010.
Gifts from Incarnate Word alumni are vital to completing the Mabee Challenge and the campaign. Many leadership gifts of $25,000 and greater have been received and now contributions from $100-$10,000 are greatly needed.
You may go online to www.uiw.edu/giving to make your gift or pledge or call (210) 829-6071 today for more information.
As one of the oldest schools of nursing in the Southwest, we are proud of our history and all that our graduates have done and continue to do to improve healthcare in their communities. We have exciting plans to help maintain our reputation as one of the best nursing schools in the region.
Originally built in the early 1970s, the nursing building was state-of-the art for its time. Now the facility is in need of expansion and renovation to address a request by the state of Texas to increase nursing enrollment to assist with the statewide shortage in this field. In 2007, we began a campaign that to date has raised more than $4 million toward a $6.3 million goal to bring the facility into the 21st century. In June 2009, the Mabee Foundation of Oklahoma generously committed to an $800,000 challenge grant to which alumni and friends are now responding. We hope to begin construction by mid-May.
• Addition of third floor
• Remodeled main lecture hall
• Remodeled second-floor classrooms
• Creation of a fully equipped hospital setting
• Addition of latest technology and equipment available
The expansion will allow UIW to increase nursing enrollment by 50 percent, thus increasing the average number of new nursing students from 80 to 120 per year.
UIW School of Nursing and Health Professions Named to Honor Ila Faye Miller
The University of the Incarnate Word held a grand opening ceremony for the newly renovated and expanded School of Nursing and Health Professions on Jan.19.
The school was named in honor of the late Ila Faye Miller, mother of UIW Trustee, John K. Miller. The honor is in appreciation of a $2 million gift given by Miller and his wife, Vladimira, marking the end of a four year School of Nursing Capital Campaign.
Miller devoted her life to serving others as a registered nurse at Santa Rosa Hospital while her husband was in the process of growing the family business, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q. Throughout her life Miller remained an avid supporter of Incarnate Word.
In total, $6.3 million was raised for the nursing capital campaign which began in 2006. The newly renovated nursing and health professions building features an additional 16,000 square feet and includes additional classroom and office space, state of the art labs and computerized manikins, four simulated hospital rooms with state of the art technology and 21st century AV equipment in all the classrooms. The newly renovated facility will offer students technology they will encounter as health professionals and allow enrollment in the programs to grow by 50 percent over time.
“Our new teaching facilities will allow us to continue our commitment to extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ through the education of outstanding leaders and compassionate caregivers,” said Kathleen M Light, EdD, MSN, RN, Dean, Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions.
Nursing and UIW have been synonymous for decades and is currently the only Catholic school of nursing in Texas. The School of Nursing was established by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in 1931. It was the first accredited school of nursing to offer a baccalaureate degree located west of the Mississippi and remains one of the most successful nursing programs in the region. Today, UIW continues to provide a quality education to students offering a bachelor and a master of science in nursing as well as an on-line RN bachelor of science in nursing for registered nurses who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree. In addition, UIW will soon offer a doctorate of nursing practice degree. Among its many graduates are five Brigadier Generals of the U.S. Armed Services, including Lillian Dunlap, the first female Brigadier General of the Army.