Breaking new ground (again)

March 26, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Nursing students motivated by Wednesday’s ceremony

BUIES CREEK -- With only 50 seats open when Campbell University’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program goes into effect in fall of 2016, the stakes are high for the approximately 114 freshmen and sophomores who have declared pre-nursing as their major.

For the sizeable group of those nursing hopefuls, Wednesday’s formal dedication of the Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing and groundbreaking ceremony for the Tracey F. Smith Hall of Nursing & Health Sciences offered a glimpse of what those students can expect should they make the cut.

And undoubtedly, they liked what they saw.

“Being here motivates me even more to work harder,” said freshman and pre-nursing major Meghan Brady of Robbins, North Carolina. “I know the competition is tough, and that’s why I’ve gotten as involved as possible. But being out here today, it’s exciting. Hearing the speakers has only confirmed that this is what I want to do. I’m in the right spot.”

Of the 300-plus on hand for Wednesday’s ceremony under the big white tent on Campbell’s Health Sciences Campus, many were pre-nursing students or first- or second-year students in Campbell’s new Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which will share the 72,000-square-foot facility with nursing, occupational therapy and medical research students beginning in 2016.

The facility will house state-of-the-art labs, clinical skills spaces, open research space, and large classrooms and study areas; and will eventually house more than 320 students, sharing a campus with the Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, which is home to more than 400 medical and physician assistant students. The building will be a major piece in Campbell’s efforts to become a leader in interprofessional health care education.

“Campbell already does a great job in helping us build our interprofessional relationships,” said second-year physical therapy student Sara Marsico of Raleigh. A member of the program’s inaugural class, Marsico will have graduated by the time the new facility opens, but she and her classmates will have access to it to study for their board exams after graduation. “We’ve made great use of [current PT home] Carrie Rich, but being here today, it’s nice to envision what the physical therapy program will become.”

Among the speakers Wednesday -- which included Campbell University administration, trustees, health care professionals and elected officials -- freshman Emily Grace Harris spoke on behalf of the 114 declared majors and revealed that watching her grandmother battle Alzheimer’s and witnessing the care provided by dedicated nurses led her to choose nursing as a profession.

“I watched nurses with compassion and concern truly connect with her and make a difference,” Harris said. “Seeing my grandmother’s reaction to that care, I saw how one nurse had the ability to change a bad day into a good one. Observing this, I believe nursing is more of a calling than a job. And I’m thankful I can pursue this calling at Campbell.”

Joann Anderson, president and CEO of Southeastern Health, which has partnered with the medical school for residency programs, called nursing a noble career and challenged the students on hand to use their mind and make a difference no matter what field of health care they choose.

“Many times a nurse is the first person a baby sees when they’re born. They’re the last person to hold someone’s hand before they die,” Anderson said. “Campbell nurses will do that in the future. Campbell nurses will become leaders in complex health care organizations. Campbell nurses will be the difference between life and death. Campbell nurses will make a difference.”

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The groundbreaking

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