SYRACUSE – St. Joseph’s College of Nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center celebrated the grand opening of its renovated lobby October 31 at the College, located at 206 Prospect Avenue in Syracuse. The lobby is named in honor of Rome native Mrs. Frances Steve Gibbons, a member of the Class of 1942, who generously donated $100,000 in support of the project. At 89, Mrs. Gibbons continues to strongly support her alma mater.
In addition, Senator John DeFrancisco secured a $500,000 New York State Economic Development Grant, which was used to replace windows not only in the lobby but in the entire building. The College’s Alumni Association added $25,000 to the lobby project.
“We are grateful to have the community’s support of our effort to educate highly qualified, compassionate nurses,” said Theodore Pasinski, St. Joseph’s president. “Although there is a nurse shortage throughout our nation, projects such as these help ensure St. Joseph’s is well-positioned to provide for our community’s health care needs.”
Built in 1960, St. Joseph’s College of Nursing has remained at the leading edge with such tools as a state-of-the-art clinical learning lab, renovated library, high-speed Internet access and digital audio-visual equipment. The building, however, no longer meets the needs of students and faculty. In fact, the number of students doubled between 1999 and 2002, and the college has since run at capacity with nearly 300 students.
St. Joseph’s also recently completed additional renovations, including a central heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) system. A 240-ton air-cooled chiller, valued at $106,000, was donated by Carrier Corp. in E. Syracuse. It is Carrier’s most energy efficient, environmentally-friendly unit. In addition, the College now has an expanded fire suppression system and new plumbing. The total cost to renovate the College of Nursing is estimated to be between $8 million and $10 million.
“At this time, during a significant nurse shortage, the need to stay competitive in the market to attract students is vital,” said Marianne Markowitz, dean of the college. “Building renovations such as this will allow St. Joseph’s College of Nursing to provide a comfortable learning environment for students and a pleasant work environment for its staff.”
Today’s event officially kicked off the College of Nursing’s 110th Anniversary Celebration. Alumni from several decades returned to Syracuse to attend a special mass, dinner and tours of the College and St. Joseph’s Hospital.
St. Joseph’s College of Nursing provides an associate’s degree in applied science with a major in nursing. A new Dual Degree Partnership in Nursing (DDPN), held in collaboration with Le Moyne College, allows students to earn both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing in four years and to sit for the national nursing licensing exam after just three years. In addition to this partnership, the college has many agreements with baccalaureate programs so that students may earn a bachelor’s degree after completing their two-year degree at St. Joseph’s.
The college is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and is one of just a handful of nursing colleges in the nation affiliated with a hospital designated with the prestigious Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.