Questions and Answers

Questions and answers about the Center for Nursing Science

What impact will the building have in the next 10 years?

The emphasis in the new building is on nursing science and generating future faculty. Although students in all programs will enjoy the state-of-the art classrooms, clinical skills labs, and computing centers, our urgency is to expand the science that excites students so they pursue advanced degrees in nursing and become future faculty and nurse scientists. The new facility will also help us recruit faculty from across the country. With these efforts to expand faculty, we expect to be able to expand enrollment on this campus by about 70 percent over the next 10 years.

Why is the building named the Center for Nursing Science?

Like medicine, nursing is a learned profession. An obligation of a profession is to advance knowledge. Research distinguishes a university from other learning institutions.

Just like medical science, nursing science provides evidence for practice and teaching. For example, with funds from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), faculty of the College of Nursing currently investigate:

Methods to prevent the fatigue and disability that cancer patients experience during chemotherapy;Ways to improve recovery and rehabilitation for cardiac patients after bypass surgery;Methods for nurses in long term care facilities to give sophisticated end-of-life care to residents.

The findings of these studies also change what we teach. Students typically are hired as research assistants, which sows the seeds for their own passion for a university career. In these ways, nursing science is the heart of the future.

What's one of the important programs that will occupy the Center for Nursing Science?

Across the country, there are only 10 developmental research centers funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. We are one of them. Our center will move to the new building. The college's Heart Health Research Center, funded last year with $1.5 million from the NIH, is investigating methods of reaching rural Nebraskans at risk for heart disease in order to improve their chance of avoiding serious illness. The center supports the research of faculty's heart health pilot studies, data analyses, writing for peer-reviewed publication, and preparation of research grant applications.

Another example is the new graduate program in the nurse educator role. This program, funded last year with $616,500 by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, added a specialty track in the master's and Ph.D. programs for students whose career goals include teaching. In only its second year, already 36 students are enrolled in this program, yielding a direct answer to Nebraska's faculty shortage.