Galen College of Nursing recently hosted a Grand Opening to officially welcome community leaders, students and alumni to the new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.
As a symbol of our ongoing commitment to the region and our students, the new campus is one of the largest campuses in Southwest Florida dedicated solely to nursing education. Faculty and staff were on hand to usher in special guests and provide tours of the new state-of-the-art facility, which encompasses nearly 70,000 square feet.
Visitors to the new campus are first greeted by an impressive 3-story atrium with large windows overlooking the front plaza. The open area and lots of natural light make the building entrance immediately inviting. Another bright focal point of the new campus is the “Why Wall” on the second floor, where students are encouraged to write on a glass wall about their inspiration for becoming a nurse.
The classrooms are well-equipped with advanced educational technology and there are lots of colorful and comfortable student areas for studying and collaborating. The new campus also includes the Ruth Corcoran Simulation Hospital, which offers an ER, ICI, Pediatric and OB Units, as well as a studio apartment setting for students to practice transition and home care techniques. In addition, there are several clinical learning labs that each feature 6 – 8 beds and mannequins for the teaching of essential skills.
Early feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive. One student exclaimed, “Look, I have actual goosebumps” while another student declared she was “Speechless – it’s breathtaking!” Faculty is equally impressed. Interim Dean Audria Denker said, “Now our students have all the resources they need in one place so that they can focus on what’s really important: learning to be a great nurse.”
As part of the Grand Opening festivities, we were also pleased to dedicate the Sharon A. Roberts Library in honor of the 40-year career and legacy of Tampa Bay’s first and founding Dean. Ms. Roberts served as Dean from Tampa Bay’s beginning in 1989 through her retirement in 2013. CEO Mark A. Vogt and Kathryn M. Mershon, Chair of Galen’s Board of Directors, provided warm remarks about Ms. Roberts before unveiling a beautiful commemorative plaque.
The September 25th Grand Opening was an exciting and emotional event, as staff from Galen’s other campuses around the country came to wish their Tampa Bay colleagues well. The atmosphere for the whole evening was spirited and supportive.
“We’re humbled by the reception we’ve received from the community and honored that our students trust their future to us,” said Vogt. “Their dedication to nursing, and Tampa Bay’s dedication to higher education, have allowed us to grow into the college we are today.”