Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus School of Nursing Partners with City to Offer Nursing Education at Kings County Hospital Center
Joint Venture Addresses Nursing Shortage and Provides Career Opportunities
Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Long Island University
To help ease Brooklyn’s significant nursing shortage, Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus is partnering with New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing at Kings County Hospital Center.
A ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, April 30, at 2 p.m. inside Kings County Hospital Center will commemorate the new program, which is sponsored by the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and provides scholarships for economically disadvantaged participants. CEO was established by Mayor Bloomberg to develop innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City.
Long Island University President Dr. David J. Steinberg, Brooklyn Campus Provost Gale Stevens Haynes, Kings County Hospital Senior Vice President Antonio Martin and HHC President Alan D. Aviles are expected to speak at the event. Kings County Hospital Center is located at 451 Clarkson Ave in Brooklyn. The ribbon cutting will take place on the fifth floor of the “T” Building.
The country’s nursing shortage — the result of a large number of older nurses retiring and the overwhelming health care needs of an aging population — is expected to worsen over the coming years. The federal government says nursing is among the few recession-proof careers in the current economy, with more than one million new and replacement nurses needed in the United States by 2016. Nowhere in the nation is the shortage felt more than in Brooklyn.
“Brooklyn has the largest shortage of nurses — particularly nurses from diverse cultures,” said Dawn Kilts, dean of the Brooklyn Campus School of Nursing. “The Long Island University Brooklyn Campus/Kings County program provides an opportunity for more nurses from diverse populations to be educated. It benefits Brooklyn citizens and health care in general.”
Students in the RN program must complete two years of pre-clinical academic work at a City University of New York (CUNY) campus and two years of clinical training in the LIU-Kings County program that includes hands-on practical experience inside brand new classrooms and laboratories at the Kings County site. Of the 55 students in the program, 31 have begun their clinical training. Twenty-four are completing their academic work. The first class graduates in spring 2011.
“Nurses are the backbone of any hospital or skilled nursing home. The training, skills and commitment of the nursing staff makes a big difference in the quality of care possible in a healthcare facility,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “Having nurses who reflect the diversity of the patients that we serve is especially valuable to a mission-driven system like HHC, a system that serves as the safety net for all New Yorkers.”
Graduates of the program receive a B.S. in Nursing from the Brooklyn Campus. In exchange for their scholarships, students recruited by HHC must work for four years at city hospitals with starting salaries of $65,000.
“The hardest part of being a nurse is getting that first job,” said Derrin Maxwell, a 35-year-old mother of four from Harlem. “I’m so appreciative of all that this program will do for me.”
Adero Gaudin, 23, of Queens characterized the program as “the best opportunity of my life.”
Since 1955, the Brooklyn Campus School of Nursing has been a leader in educating nurses across the New York metropolitan area. Located in downtown Brooklyn, the School operates the Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn B'32 Academic Nursing Center, which provides a broad variety of health care services to the uninsured and the underinsured residents of the surrounding communities.
For more information about the nursing program, call the Brooklyn Campus Office of Admissions at (718) 488-1011.
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