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College of Nursing receives gift for new center

The USF College of Nursing recently received its largest donation ever. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida gave the college a $750,000 gift, which was matched by Florida’s Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program.

The $1.5 million contributed to the college will help fund the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Center for Advanced Nursing Education. The Center will be built on the second floor of the new USF Healthcare and Education Center, which will have its ground-breaking ceremony Sept. 16.

“This center will help us attract and retain the best and brightest students,” said Patricia Burns, dean of the College of Nursing.

The Center for Advanced Nursing Education will be built during the first phase of construction for the Healthcare and Education Center. It will feature three U-shaped, tiered classrooms that will accommodate more than twice the number of nursing students as the college’s current lecture hall and will offer the latest technology. In addition, construction during the first phase includes other new facilities for the College of Nursing, as well as renovations to the existing college.

“This center will change the way faculty teach in the classroom through enhanced methodologies and a unique teaching/learning environment,” Burns said.

After the completion of the first phase, which is scheduled for January 2005, new facilities for the Children’s Medical Services Ambulatory Procedure Center will be constructed along with supplementary services such as radiology and clinic modules as part of the project’s second phase. The third stage of the $75 million project consists of renovating the existing clinics, focusing on patient care modules, shared learning facilities and high-tech conferencing.

“This is a way to prepare nurses and to address the nursing shortage,” Burns said. “It will have a great impact on the Tampa Bay community.”