The UT College of Nursing and our graduates are poised to play a key role in transforming health care in Tennessee and beyond. On October 4, Dean Victoria Niederhauser announced the launch of a campaign to expand and enhance the college’s facilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses are listed among the top occupations for job growth. As our baby boomer population ages and the need for health care grows, there are projected openings for more than 200,000 RNs per year, through 2026.Tennessee is not immune to the national nursing shortage crisis – the US Health Resources and Service Administration estimates we will only be able to half of our state’s demand for nurses by next year. To meet the workforce demands in our state and beyond, the College of Nursing has developed a five-year plan to increase enrollment from 800 students in 2018 to 1,250 in 2023.
Unfortunately, we cannot meet these growth goals in our current space.
The college currently operates from a 41-year-old building housing more than 920 students and 133 faculty and staff members. Classroom and laboratory space is at a premium and there is no space for student interaction.These challenges have opened the door for opportunity with plans for a major expansion. The proposed state-of-the-art building renovation will increase the college’s space from 42,000 to 100,000 square feet and will feature enhanced simulation labs, dynamic classroom environments, and student collaboration areas.
The building campaign’s spark came in the form of a transformational $7.5 million gift – the largest in the college’s history – from Sara Croley (BSN ’00) and her husband, Ross. Pending approval from the Board of Trustees, the renovated space will be named the Croley Nursing Building in recognition of their generous support.
As an alumna, Sara recognizes the need for more nurses and wants their gift to serve as a catalyst to fulfill the college’s vision for growth.
This is certainly a sound investment for Tennessee. The majority of our Bachelor of Science in Nursing students remain in the state following graduation.
The $60 million anticipated cost for the project will be funded through a combination of donations and state funding. The college has set a campaign goal to raise $10 million in private support.
“Ross and I are investing in the future of nursing in Tennessee. We hope this gift opens the door of opportunity for many more amazing nurses…”
-Sara Rosenbalm Croley (BSN ’00)