Although COVID has delayed and canceled many anticipated renovations and changes at the university, the nursing program is happy to finally be making its official move to the Erie campus this upcoming January.
With the closing of the North East campus, nursing students needed their own area here in Erie to continue their studies.
In an attempt to find adequate space on the expanding main campus, Mercyhurst partnered with the Sister’s of Mercy Motherhouse in order to accommodate this program.
The nursing program will be moved to the Motherhouse, demonstrating the everlasting connection between the Sisters of Mercy and a Mercyhurst education.
Sister Lisa Mary McCartney mentioned that although there will eventually be some level of financial compensation for sharing their space, the Sisters are genuinely invested in the education of students and the continuing of Catherine McAuley’s mission.
The Sisters eagerly anticipate this new program and the opportunities that their space will provide for nursing students in the years to come.
Construction is being done in a manner that fosters respect for the Sisters and their home while also making constant progress toward renovations that will make classes possible.
The program was supposed to be transitioned completely to the Erie campus this semester, but COVID caused a slight delay in the process. Despite all of the upheaval caused by the pandemic, the nursing program is anticipated to open on January 22, 2022, only a semester behind schedule.
Dr. Dyan Jones, Interim Dean of Zurn College, notes that construction is currently underway and on track to be opened according to the new timeline.
The move to Erie campus will not impact the programming or requirements for the nursing degree, but it will provide nursing students with additional opportunities that were not formerly available to them.
Jones points out that nursing students will now have access to more amenities on the Erie campus such as a greater variety of REACH courses and more options to get involved in RSCOs.
Candice Kiskadden, Interim Chair of the Department of Nursing, also mentioned that the move will create more opportunity for community both on and off campus. Nursing students will be in closer proximity to the healthcare settings where they work instead of having to travel from North East.
Kiskadden and Jones both explained that students are excited for these new opportunities and to be in a more centralized location.
“We’re excited our faculty and administration are to finally make this move happen. The associate degree programs in Nursing – and in all the allied health disciplines – are truly valued, and we are delighted that the move will provide more direct opportunities for us to thrive together as one university,” said Jones.
Although some may be initially confused as to why the program is being placed into the Motherhouse, Kiskadden offers an excellent explanation. She brings up the point that many of the Sisters of Mercy worked in healthcare in their former years, meaning that they have relevant prior knowledge to share with the nursing students and some will even be coming in to speak in classes.
“In fact, if you think of the Mercy Mission and the original role that the Sisters of Mercy played in both health care and education, there may be no more appropriate program than Nursing to honor that space,” said Jones.