The Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes will break ground on its $10 million building expansion at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14.
School officials invite residents, visitors and local dignitaries to attend this special groundbreaking ceremony, which will be held in front of the school’s Market Street entrance.
Jeffrey Fried, Beebe Healthcare president and CEO, will talk about the importance of expanding educational opportunities for the region’s students.
“The communities that we serve are growing at an astounding rate, and we want to be ready to serve them,” said Fried. “This expansion, as well as the other projects now taking place, will allow us to continue to bring needed services and facilities to our communities.”
Beebe Healthcare is poised to address the local shortage of nurses by expanding its 90-year-old nursing school. The School of Nursing is the only three-year nursing diploma program in Delaware and the only program in Delaware located at a hospital. The superior clinical experiences gained by its students prepare them to move seamlessly into the healthcare setting. Beebe graduates typically score best of all Delaware schools on the nurse licensure exam.
The expanded school will include two six-bed skills laboratories and two one-bed skills laboratories outfitted like modern hospital rooms. The one-bed skills labs will include patient simulators complete with real physiological responses that allow students to practice clinical scenarios in a laboratory setting and gain confidence in their skills.
The goal of the project is to eventually double the number of new nurses graduating from the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing. When the project is complete, 60 new nurses will be eligible each year to take the licensure exam. That means more nurses, not only for Beebe Healthcare, but for all of Sussex County and the entire state. Many of these nurses will go on to become certified as nurse practitioners and will help alleviate the significant area shortage of primary care physicians.
Demolition activities are already underway at the School of Nursing in Lewes. Power and water supply to the large, two-story building and smaller modular building have been cut, and some site work has started. Full demolition of both buildings is scheduled to start in early December. Activities should continue into early January with construction of the new building to follow immediately.
Beebe officials encourage residents and visitors to the medical center in Lewes to be prepared for noise and delays in the area of the school on Market Street. In order to maintain a safe environment, the demolition and construction site is barricaded. Only authorized personnel are permitted to be inside the barricaded area.
The grand opening of the new building is planned for 2015.
The family of Margaret H. Rollins will be in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, as will many of the school’s nursing faculty and students. A reception will immediately follow the event at the Inn at Canal Square in Lewes.
For more information on the groundbreaking, call the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900.
For more information, go to www.beebehealthcare.org.