Adelphi opens new College of Nursing and Public Health

A rendering of the new Nexus Building and

A rendering of the new Nexus Building and Welcome Center to be built at Adelphi University, which will be the home of the College of Nursing and Public Health. (Credit: Handout)

Adelphi University launches its new College of Nursing and Public Health on Monday with plans to expand its course offerings and break ground on a new $60-million building this fall.

University officials said the college will "pave the way for a new vision, which will be focusing on population health" and the future demands of Long Island's health care system, including jobs that could come out of the federal Affordable Care Act and an aging demographic.

"It is the marriage of public health and nursing. When you put those two disciplines together you get the best of both worlds," said the new college's dean, Patrick Coonan, who received his registered nursing degree from Adelphi 35 years ago. "It is really the founding of a new college."

The nursing school, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary, has an enrollment of about 1,200. A master's in public health launched last September with 12 students and is growing to nearly 30 in the coming fall semester.

The college also recently added an online master's degree program in nutrition. In addition, Coonan said, the school's health information systems courses have gained in popularity.

The College of Nursing and Public Health's new home -- a three-story building of more than 99,600 square feet, complete with high-tech labs and simulation rooms -- is expected to open in the fall of 2015. It now is called the Nexus building, although it is possible the name could change if it is dedicated to a donor.

The Village of Garden City board of trustees on Thursday unanimously approved Adelphi's application for the building.

The estimated construction costs of $58 million to $60 million will be paid with institutional reserves and borrowing, university spokeswoman Kali Chan said.

Adelphi is among several Long Island universities expanding offerings of health care degree and certificate programs in response to the anticipated job growth of primary care practitioners on the Island.

Hofstra University, in Hempstead, opened a medical school in 2011 with the North Shore-LIJ system and began offering a master's in public health. Molloy College, in Rockville Centre, is raising money for a new building to house its growing division of nursing, which is the largest on the Island with an enrollment of nearly 2,000.

Adelphi's nursing school currently is located in Alumnae Hall, which was built in 1943.

The nursing program began that year, at what then was called Adelphi College, with a class of 27 young women who entered a 30-month war emergency course for New York State Registered Nurse certification.

The school became one of the largest college units of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II.

With Aisha al-Muslim

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