Generous donation for nursing program

Lu Aleman

By Luisa Aleman (staff reporter) and Julia Battishill (News Editor)

Recently, the nursing program at Seattle Pacific University received three donations from the Norcliffe Foundation, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and parents of two SPU alumni respectively, totaling more than $1.9 million.

Nursing professor and dean of the school of health sciences, Lorie Wild, spoke with the Falcon about the plans the Nursing Program wishes to see through with the new donations.

“The Murdock grant was really specified for equipment for clinical learning lab, skills lab, simulation suit, … mannequins, IV pumps, IV tubing, laptops for electronic charts, beds…” she explained.

In particular, the nursing program is excited to receive a “high fidelity mannequin that breathes and has heart rates.”

This means that students can learn from a device that simulates real life, without putting a real patient at risk.

According to an article by Denis Campbell for the Guardian, demand for nurses has risen over the last few years. Hospitals are expanding and require more assistance and the nursing field is expanding correspondingly.

A survey of 30,000 nurses finds 53 percent fear that the quality of care for patients is suffering, and some patients are being left to die alone. Nurses do not have the time to care for the dying anymore.

With the donation that SPU received, the nursing students have an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

Senior Amy Davis says that the funds also helped build the nursing facilities that the program recently moved into. It will allow the rigorous program more space and equipment for learning nursing practices.

“The incredibly generous donation was used to fund our new School of Health Sciences building, 6 Nickerson. … The third floor has our simulation suite, skills training lab as well as a space for our masters and doctorate students to practice as well,” Davis explained.

The portion of the money not dedicated to equipment is to “expand enrollment in the undergraduate program … renovation of the building, seminar rooms, co-curricular spaces, lounges,” Wild said.

A nursing student, Jana Widmyer, in her first quarter of the program, said, “last quarter, we spent the first half classroom-hopping, waiting for it to be ready. Then we got to ‘move in’ and it was so worth the wait.”

“We have this big lab space with some new equipment, and most of the classrooms have a view of the canal. I can’t speak for everyone, but I am very thankful to our donors and happy with the space we get to enjoy,” Widmyer further explains.

Getting into the nursing program at SPU can also be quite competitive. According to their website, the most successful applicants must show a strong academic performance, excellent professional references, work or volunteer experience, strong communication and quantitative skills, and professionalism.

“Most nursing programs are very competitive, and ours is one of the best in the Pacific Northwest,” explains Davis.

Widmyer says, “the biggest thing is getting prerequisites done and within the GPA range. … I recommend joining [Nursing and Pre-Nursing Students] to anyone who is planning on applying. They really do help you know what to expect with the application.”

The money that was donated to the nursing program will also help facilitate the acceptance rate, according to Wild. She explains that only about half of nursing students are accepted into the program, and that they aim to expand enrollment with use of the new funds.

Applications for admission into the two nursing program to cohorts, fall and winter, will be available mid-November through mid-January.

Pending approval, a second application cycle will take place for a spring program entry in mid-August through mid-October. Each cohort will be comprised of 32 students.