School of Nursing
The School of Nursing was the first school on Grounds to reach its campaign goal, surpassing its original $30 million goal in 2008 and raising $55.4 million by the campaign’s end. Most of the campaign focused on new space for faculty and students—a building and renovation project 20 years in the making. Thanks to a $5 million lead gift from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation and generous gifts from other alumni, friends, foundations and corporations, the new Claude Moore Nursing Education Building opened in September 2008, providing 32,000 new square feet of classroom, office, collaboration and study space. Across the street, McLeod Hall was renovated and upgraded floor by floor. Donors established two new professorships and a new $1 million Jeanette Lancaster Fund for Faculty Excellence (named for the School of Nursing dean who retired in 2008), providing seed funding for faculty collaborations, research projects and conference travel. Private gifts targeted for students enabled the School of Nursing to create a new Clinical Nurse Leader second-degree program in 2006, established numerous scholarships and fellowships, and provided new space and funding for student organizations. Under the leadership of the current dean, Dorrie Fontaine, significant gifts have launched ASPIRE, a center focused on interprofessional education (training nursing and medical students together in teams) and the Compassionate Care Initiative, which trains nurses and other health care professionals in resiliency so that they can provide safe, high-quality care to their patients. The School of Nursing was part of the overall Campaign for Health, which raised more than $677 million for health-related programs at U.Va.
McLeod Hall Renovation
Generous supporters of the School of Nursing ensured the success of the McLeod Hall renovation campaign in challenging economic times. McLeod Hall, built in 1972, has been transformed into a new home for nursing research. It houses the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, the School of Nursing’s first endowed named center, the Clinical Simulation Learning Center, and other centers and collaborative groups focused on areas including interprofessional education, domestic violence and nursing innovation. It is also a place where the School of Nursing community comes together, whether in the new McLeod Café or the resiliency room for meditation and yoga. Renovations began in 2009 and will conclude at the end of 2014. Broad participation made our success possible, with 121 donors making gifts to support the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building and the McLeod Hall Renovation.
Tussi and John Kluge Professorship in End-of-Life Care
The Kluges’ generous gift to create the School of Nursing’s first $2 million professorship enabled Dean Fontaine to create the Compassionate Care Initiative and recruit the first chairholder, Susan Bauer-Wu. The CCI began as an interdisciplinary effort across the U.Va. Health System and local community focused primarily on caring for patients and families at the end of life. Susan Bauer-Wu joined the School of Nursing faculty in 2013, bringing with her a wealth of experience with mind-body approaches to bolster stress resilience and a sense of well-being among patients, families and practitioners. Today the Compassionate Care Initiative works on many fronts to cultivate a resilient and compassionate workforce that can thrive in today’s complex healthcare system. Participants (nurses, physicians, administrators, faculty and students) share the strong belief that compassion can be taught and that resilient practitioners provide safe, high quality and compassionate care to patients and families.
Gifts at Work
Preparing More Nurses for a Future in Healthcare
With a growing national demand for highly skilled nurses, a $5 million gift from Bill and Joanne Conway enables the School of Nursing to double the size of the Clinical Nurse Leader master’s degree program. The CNL program accepts students with a bachelor’s degree in another field and puts them on the fast track to the nursing profession, graduating in 24 months prepared to deliver high-quality, safe and compassionate care. The gift creates the Conway Scholars Program, providing need-based scholarships that remove financial obstacles to entering the nursing profession.
Already, U.Va.’s School of Nursing has welcomed 14 Conway Scholars in the first two years of the expanded program. The students were selected based on specific qualifications, including demonstrated financial need, a commitment to service and an interest in underserved and vulnerable populations. As Conway Scholars, these students will experience their nursing education in a unique way, with encouragement to seek future positions focused on communities in need or vulnerable populations.
The Conway gift also provides support for faculty teaching in the CNL program, which has enabled the school to hire three outstanding new faculty members. In the midst of a national shortage of nursing faculty, the Conway support was critically important in these recruitments. Two of the recruits are men, which also helps to diversify the school’s faculty. With Conway support, the school will launch a distance learning CNL program in Southwest Virginia in spring 2015, targeting students who will be able to provide care in their home community.