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Villanova Dedicates Driscoll Hall, New Home to the College of Nursing on Oct. 6

Villanova's New Home for College of Nursing Aligns Forward-Thinking Education with Technology-Rich Space for Next Generation of Nurses

High-Tech Building, High-Touch Teaching Creates Villanova Hallmark of Compassionate Care

October, 2008

VILLANOVA, Pa. (October 2008) – As Villanova University’s College of Nursing embarks on its 55th year of educating the next generation of nurses, the College celebrates a new home in Driscoll Hall. On Monday, Oct. 6, students, faculty, alumni and guests gather to dedicate Driscoll Hall and mark Villanova’s commitment to nursing education as part of its institutional and social mission.

At 75,500 square feet, Driscoll Hall features a technology-rich, forward-thinking design bringing the College’s physical space into perfectly alignment with its educational philosophy. This high-tech building combined with the College’s high-touch teaching creates Villanova’s hallmark of compassionate care. It’s this philosophy that has Villanova’s 700-plus undergraduate and graduate nursing students on their way to becoming the first point of access for quality, compassionate health care, not only here in the United States but around the globe.

"At Villanova, rigorous academic programs are enhanced by a focus on community and a commitment to service – qualities that are exemplified by our College of Nursing,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Villanova University President. “With the opening of Driscoll Hall, our nursing faculty will now be able to educate the next generation of nurses in a facility that matches the level of leadership they develop for the nursing profession.”

“Our charge is to produce the kind of nurses who can provide front-line care, lead respected institutions and affect social change for the good of their patients, including the marginalized populations who are so much a part of the ongoing debate about health care access,” said M. Louise Fitzpatrick, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, Dean of the College of Nursing. “In Driscoll Hall, we have a building that is not only inspirational but also completely equipped to complement the skills and expertise of our faculty who are nurturing and stimulating the professional nursing behaviors that are critically needed in today’s health care settings to care for the whole person – physically, psychologically and spiritually.”

Located prominently on Villanova’s main campus, the $32 million Driscoll Hall showcases the latest in environmentally friendly design and state-of-the-art teaching spaces. It boasts a 200-seat auditorium and 200-seat lecture hall, six classrooms, two seminar rooms, 10 clinical simulation labs and three standardized patient labs.

These labs, along with Villanova’s interdisciplinary teaching approach, are central to the College’s mission of high tech and high touch learning which produce compassionate caregivers. Villanova nursing students work with student actors who model patient symptoms, behaviors, attitudes and questions. In this way, nursing students learn to assess a patient’s mental and physical well-being, recognize signs and symptoms and make critical judgments before entering an actual health care setting.

Students also use an array of human patient simulators that can speak and have heartbeats, pulses, chest movements and can even give birth. They allow students to practice responding to realistic patient situations and physiological reactions. At Driscoll Hall, these clinical simulations are staged in rooms that are not only complete with the latest hospital and critical care equipment but also feature digital recording devices for evaluation and feedback.

Driscoll Hall is also home to the College’s Center for Nursing Research and includes spaces for international student activities; faculty, staff and student organization offices; a café and courtyard; and space for prayer and reflection. The building was named in honor of the Reverend John M. Driscoll, O.S.A., ’48 A&S, who served as the 30th President of Villanova University from 1975 to 1988.

Taught by a faculty of noted experts in the fields of nursing and health care, Villanova College of Nursing students are among the most highly sought-after nurses and leaders. The College has nearly 6,000 alumni, including health care executives, researchers, nurses in all aspects of clinical practice, top-ranking military nursing personnel, university professors, college presidents and deans.

The Villanova University College of Nursing, established in 1953, is a nationally recognized premier nursing program under Catholic auspices with a mission to create a synergy between compassion and clinical excellence. Designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing, the College provides a values-based undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences that prepares students to assume positions as productive, ethical, and socially responsible citizens and leaders providing care in clinical and community settings. Its reputation is solidified by its rigorous, top-ranked graduate program to prepare advanced practice nurses, administrators and nurse educators; its environment for faculty and student scholarship; its respected continuing nursing education program and the leadership contributions of its students, faculty and alumni in nursing and health care around the world.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.