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Cedar Crest College opens new School of Nursing, hopes to elevate status

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A classroom in the renovated nursing lab at Cedar Crest College.
A classroom in the renovated nursing lab at Cedar Crest College. - (Photo / )

Cedar Crest College in Allentown announced it has established a new School of Nursing, three months after it unveiled the $1.8 million renovation of its nursing lab.

Cedar Crest has a long tradition of offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, but the establishment of a separate School of Nursing will enable the college to expand its offerings, attract more highly qualified students from a wider area and elevate the prestige of the program, said Wendy Robb, the recently appointed dean of nursing who will lead the school.

The School of Nursing will put the program “more clearly in the national and international spotlight” and move “us to a larger stage in the company of renowned nursing programs,” she said.

Robb, who has taught at the college for more than 20 years, had been chair of the Department of Nursing since 2012. The School of Nursing will be housed in the Hamilton Boulevard Building on campus on the western edge of Allentown.

The School of Nursing is now a full-service professional program offering bachelor, master, post-master and doctorate degrees and a variety of graduate certificates.

“We expect this will increase our opportunities for national and international research awards and the faculty to advance rigorous research agendas,” Robb said.

Elevating the program to its own school will allow for more donor opportunities, she said.

The college added the doctor of nursing practice degree in 2017, which includes three areas of specialization: family nursing, acute adult/gerontology and nurse anesthesiology. A nurse anesthesia program will begin this fall.

Cedar Crest renewed its commitment to the nursing program with the renovated Graduate Simulation Lab, which is equipped with the latest teaching technology. Students will work with manikins in a simulated operating room, preoperative assessment room and critical care patient rooms.

Each year, Cedar Crest awards 100 to 110 bachelor degrees with a concentration in nursing and five to 10 graduate degrees in nursing. Those numbers are expected to dramatically increase.

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