The Future of Nursing

Nursing Education CenterLearning is about transformation, and the new Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence positions URI nursing students at the forefront of transformation in the field of health care.

The center opened in August 2017 as part of the South Street Landing redevelopment project along the waterfront in Providence. It already has become the anchor institution of a regional hub for health care education and is adjacent to institutions where world-class biomedical and health care practice and research take place every day.

“Rapid changes in the increasingly complex environment for the health sciences demand advanced clinical education and ever-more rigorous academic requirements for nurses,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “The Rhode Island Nursing Education Center more than meets these challenges while also contributing to the state’s economy by providing professional development and career advancement for health care professionals.”

At the center, upperclassmen in URI’s bachelor of nursing program gain critical, hands-on skills in an expansive suite of sophisticated simulation laboratories that are unmatched in the nation, noted Barbara Wolfe, dean of URI’s College of Nursing. “The breadth of simulation capabilities — including medical-surgical, mental health, maternity, pediatrics and home care — provides the best education available in a setting unlike any other and offers URI nursing graduates a strong competitive advantage in their profession,” she said.

URI’s graduate nursing programs, from its master’s degree offering — which U.S. News & World Report ranks in the nation’s top 100 — to doctor of nurse practitioner and Ph.D. degree tracks, are entirely housed at the center. “These students come to URI seeking to excel as leaders in their fields and to be challenged at the highest levels of nursing, and the center helps us achieve that,” Wolfe said.

On Nov. 29, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and other dignitaries will join URI students, educators and administrators to formally celebrate the opening of South Street Landing with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will showcase the 133,000-square-foot teaching facility.

The South Street Landing project itself is a story of transformation. The result of an unprecedented collaboration among the State of Rhode Island, URI, Brown University and Rhode Island College, the center is housed in what was once an abandoned 19th century power plant. Restored and reimagined, the distinctive building houses the nursing simulation laboratories — which URI and Rhode Island College nursing programs share, although their curricula and missions remain distinct — faculty offices and classrooms for both programs, administrative offices for Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and stunning and unique public spaces.

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Jennifer Bairam, a senior in the University of Rhode Island’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science program, had been eager to get real-world exposure to potential career paths in the pharmaceutical industry.