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Building the Future of Nursing

Giving News

St. David’s Foundation Funds Critical Renovations to Support Hands-on, Team-Based Learning

By Kristin Tommey

Three million strong, nurses make up the largest segment of our nation’s medical workforce. Working on the front lines of patient care, they play a vital role in making health care more affordable, accessible, and person-centered.

The School of Nursing at UT-Austin offers a robust educational experience that prepares students to lead change and improve patient outcomes in a rapidly evolving system. Through role-playing exercises, case studies, and interactive discussions, students gain strong technical foundations while learning to deliver outstanding care.

But the school’s 1970s-era facilities don’t match its modern approach to nursing education.

That’s why nursing leadership undertook an ambitious plan in 2014 to develop an upgraded site where nursing education can thrive as part of the growing UT-Austin health care district, anchored by the Dell Medical School.

St. David’s Foundation, an Austin-based charitable nonprofit committed to building healthy communities, awarded the school a $950,000 grant to take the first step in its large-scale renovation plans: the transformation of heavily utilized classrooms.

“Although the nursing building is physically sound, its static, theater-style classrooms have hindered our ability to use the latest technology and adequately support group work,” says Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the School of Nursing. “This grant will allow us to convert these spaces into open, flexible classrooms that support active learning and team-building activities.”

The school’s Advisory Council — a group of dedicated alumni, friends, and donors — came together to raise additional funds to make this project possible.

“Our community has rallied behind this initiative. We are incredibly grateful for the support of St. David’s Foundation and everyone who has contributed,” Stuifbergen says. “These renovations are crucial to our efforts to educate the next generation of nursing leaders who will make a difference in the lives of patients and help shape our health care system.”

Renovations on classrooms located on the first floor of the nursing building will begin this summer.

For information about how you can support the School of Nursing, contact Rob Bacchus, director of development.

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