New Building and Nursing Program Will Transform Landscape of Queens Campus
L-R: Rev. Bernard M. Tracey, C.M., NYS Senator Toby Stavisky, NYS Assemblymember David Weprin, Board Chair-Mr. Bill Janetschek, NYS Commissioner Hope Knight, Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President, Student-Mr. Nishanth Viswanath, Simon Møller, Ph.D., Provost, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, NYC Councilmember James Gennaro, John M. Conry, Pharm.D., Interim Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Gina Florio, Ph.D., Interim Dean, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Queens, NY) – With a historic relic from its past, St. John’s University planted a symbolic shovel in the ground on a new initiative to transform the learning and landscape of its Queens, NY, campus. Using the same ceremonial shovel first used to break ground at its original Brooklyn, NY, location more than a century and a half ago, St. John’s observed International Nurses Day by breaking ground on the future home of a new Health Sciences Center. The new 70,000-square-foot building, estimated to cost approximately $106 million, is scheduled to open in Fall, 2024, and will be the permanent home of the recently launched Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) program at St. John’s.
“Nursing is not simply a job or a career, it is a vocation—a true calling to service—the kind of compassionate service that is at the heart of the transformative Catholic and Vincentian mission of a St. John’s education,” stated Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of St. John’s University. “Today, with a major investment and expanded commitment to the health sciences, St. John’s helps answer that call.”
Establishing a nursing program is part of a planned expansion of the health sciences curriculum coupled with capital improvements to new and existing academic facilities at St. John’s. The University recently received approval from the New York State Education Department to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing program. Applications for admission are now being accepted and preparations are underway for the first cohort of students to begin classes in August.
“The new nursing program at St. John’s and the innovative learning that will take place in this cutting-edge building will strengthen the education pipeline for nursing and allied health-care professionals, ensuring the ongoing preparation of skilled and compassionate health-care workers to meet the growing needs of our society,” stated Simon G. Møller, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University Distinguished Professor, and Provost Endowed Chair.
The BSN program at St. John’s is housed in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences—the largest provider of health-care personnel in Queens County and one of the major health-care educators in the New York City region. It is an innovative program imbued with the perspectives of human dignity, freedom, justice, truth, and respect for the natural world that provides evidence-based practice and theoretical and clinical course work essential to success in the field.
The new medical and educational Health Sciences Center will support and house existing and forthcoming health sciences programs in one facility. The building will provide state-of-the-art technology, simulation labs, and flexible room layouts to allow for a multitude of teaching and learning styles. The innovative and flexible learning environment will ensure that future health-care workers can keep pace with the dramatic advancements in the health-care industry.
St. John’s will provide students with hands-on clinical rotations within a network of partner health-care systems, which include New York City Health + Hospitals, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, and Catholic Health. With an innovative curriculum, support for brand-new facilities, and established community partnerships, the new nursing program at St. John’s aims to strengthen the local academic health system. The four-year nursing pre-licensure program is designed for undergraduate students with no previous experience in professional nursing. It is open to applicants with good moral character and demonstrated academic ability.
The construction of the new facility is funded by a mix of private and public funds including more than $20 million to date in philanthropic support. The Health Sciences Center is partially funded by a $1.25 million federal appropriation from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration secured by Representative Gregory W. Meeks in the US House of Representatives and Senator Charles E. Schumer in the US Senate. In addition, St. John’s secured a $5 million New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant and a $700,000 Empire State Development grant from Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the need for adequate nurse staffing, which is crucial to ensure quality health care access for all New Yorkers. New York State’s investment in St. John’s University’s state-of-the-art Health Science Center reflects our strategic focus on workforce development and highlights New York’s commitment to strengthening our health care system. The New Health Sciences Center will create 21st century jobs by creating a pipeline of nursing staff in the region that will help fulfill a crucial need across the State,” shared Hope Knight President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development who attended the ceremony.
Nursing education is not new to St. John’s. In 1937, a Department of Nursing was formed at the University and the department became a separate School of Nursing Education in 1942, helping to train nurses during World War II before being discontinued.
Building renderings are found here
About St. John’s University:
St. John’s University is a private, coeducational, Roman Catholic University founded in 1870 by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians), with its main campus located in Queens, NY. St. John’s University also has campuses and locations in Staten Island and Manhattan; in Rome, Italy; in Paris, France; and in Limerick, Ireland. St. John’s University is comprised of six Schools and Colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business (including the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science), The School of Education, and the School of Law. As of Fall 2021, the University has 1,410 full-time and part-time faculty, 15,452 undergraduate students, and 4,206 graduate students who come from 48 states and 118 countries. St. John’s offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 15 doctoral programs.