New Nursing Education Center Ignites Excitement in Rhode Island

Reviewed by Abbie Jacobs, RN, BSN

The historic Jewelry District of Providence, Rhode Island is in the throes of a major transformation that will forever change the way area nursing students learn and work.

A citywide development plan is designed to elevate the state’s economic and academic stature, the $220 million South Street Landing Project will work as a three-part project, one of which is the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center (NEC). The NEC will begin opening its doors to nursing students attending the University of Rhode Island (URI) and Rhode Island College (RIC) in fall 2017.

According to the dean of URI’s College of Nursing, Barbara Wolfe, future students that attend classes at the NEC will receive an unrivaled educational advantage partially because the building is featured among:

  • Companies leading the world in biomedical and healthcare education and research
  • Some of the state’s best hospitals and healthcare providers
  • Brown University’s Alpert Medical School

Although the NEC also promises innovative teaching labs, spaces to preform real-life simulation techniques, and progressive teaching methods, access will be limited to upper-division nursing students. For example, at URI only seniors and second semester junior will take classes at the NEC. All other nursing students will remain on the Kingston Campus.

The NEC will also house all URI nursing graduate courses. In doing so, the URI is making a strong statement about the necessity of advancing the higher nursing education agenda sweeping colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Not surprisingly, RIC is likewise committed to promoting greater educational excellence in the nursing community. In a July article published by the RIC, Dean of Nursing Jane Williams reiterated the crucial need to augment the number of nurses with bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in order to accommodate several mounting demand factors including:

  • Constantly advancing technologies
  • Ever-changing modification in the healthcare system
  • Growing aging population
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