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Construction underway for FSU's troubled nursing school

Posted July 20, 2009

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— An $11 million, taxpayer-funded building project is underway for the troubled nursing school at Fayetteville State University, despite a decision by the chancellor to temporarily shut down the school itself.

Plans for the building have been in the works since 2007, which was about the same time the state put the nursing school on probation for poor performance.

Construction underway for FSU's nursing school Construction underway for FSU's nursing school

In May, Chancellor James Anderson stopped admissions to the nursing program after abysmal test scores and violations of state rules. But Anderson plans to restart the program, maybe in a couple years, after the curriculum has been revamped and faculty evaluated.

The university says the new building is a much-needed project, not just for the nursing department, but for a crowded and growing campus.

The “Southeastern North Carolina Nursing Education and Research Building,” which is scheduled to open in August 2010, will include three floors, 37,000 square feet, eight classrooms, two computer labs, three seminar rooms, general offices and study rooms for faculty and students. A state-of-the-art nursing simulation laboratory also will be incorporated into the project, university officials said.

“I look at the larger picture than just one program,” said David Barlow, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This building will serve our needs tremendously.”

The building will house the nursing program as well as the psychology department, which is the second-largest program on campus.

“We have been in cramped, confined spaces for the last three years, and prior to that, (we were) moving all over campus in temporary housing,” said Thomas Van Cantfort, interim chairman of the psychology department.

FSU still has its online program for registered nurses seeking bachelor's degrees. Barlow said he would like to create a partnership with other nursing schools in the region, such as Fayetteville Technical Community College, which would be able to share the new building.

“Most of the hospitals today are seeking to get bachelor-trained nurses. This is a big demand, and we can serve that very well,” Barlow said.

The $11 million is all state money, and the project had to be approved by the UNC Board of Governors. FSU officials were talking with officials at Fayetteville Technical Community College about partnering.

As for a timetable when the FSU nursing program can get going again, Barlow said there isn’t one.

“We are not going to do anything too quickly. We need to evaluate the faculty, the curricula, everything there is,” he said.

The 4-year-old nursing program has been plagued by students performing poorly on state nursing exams and has been on state probation for the past two years.

Forty-six percent of FSU students passed the state licensing exam in the past two years, far below the 83 percent pass rate required by the state Board of Nursing during a two-year period.

Rising seniors in the program will be allowed to complete their degree.

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  • rossj Jul 24, 2009

    It's a shame that my alma mater is in such dire straits. Please do not lump all FSU students into the I don't care category. I graduated in the top 2% of my high school class, got a full academic scholarship to attend, and graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Biology. I am not pursuing a doctoral degree in molecular and cellular biology at the Medical University of South Carolina, so successful people can come from FSU.The nursing program was started my senior year and the nursing students often complained that the Natural Science Department classes were too hard and they needed to take easier classes. The university obliged and created easier classes for them. I'm pretty sure that this has attributed greatly to the demise of the program and the inability of it's students to pass board exams. If the university quit pandering to people who do not want to work to obtain their degree, the program and it's outcomes will most definitely improve. Until then, things will remain very dismal

  • affirmativediversity Jul 21, 2009

    highly-blessed,

    That's great that you graduated 10% of your high school class. I assume that truly means something...that you worked hard and no one "just gave it to you".

    Unfortunately, a very strong stench of "just give it to them" permeates from FSU. That's not to say that many students do not put forward an appropriate level of effort...unfortunately their efforts are greatly marginalized by all those whiners who think society owes them a 4 year degree and FSU's sole purpose is to give it to them.

    Truth hurts...but, if you are truly interested in bettering the reputation of your school call and petition its Board to implement and MAINTAIN reasonable standard for ALL students (even if that means the lazy ones FAIL OUT).
    Oh and it would be helpful if your Student Justice Center didn't insist on awarding posthumous degrees to felons killed in the commission of an armed crime.

  • highly-blessed Jul 21, 2009

    I am a VERY PROUD graduate of FSU and I can not believe the comments I see. I worked my butt off so do not sit here and call us a bunch of "uneducated students". I graduated in the Top 10% of my class in high school. While attending FSU, I participated in many projects to better the city of Fayetteville as we as community service on campus. I had the option of going to other universities with full scholarships but chose to go to FSU. So DO NOT stereotype ANY of the students at that university because ONE department chose not to push their students to succeed.

  • gandalla Jul 21, 2009

    The instructors are garbage get a real staff in there and see what happens.

  • Sidekick Jul 21, 2009

    Since the students are not learning, let's build them a new building. That surely will 'change' things.

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Jul 21, 2009

    attitudes like this:
    "Yea blame the student. What about the instructor if they cant teach the student isnt going to learn. Its that simple. And to all the teachers out there I ask this: How can you tell if your a good teacher or not unless you base your results on the performance of your students?
    gandalla"

    are the reasons public schools are so AWFUL in this country. A teacher can teach until they are blue in the face but if the STUDENT does not practice or learn themselves they aren't going to be able to pass tests. No matter what they are in school for. FSU administrators failed because they passed these lazy group of students anyway.

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Jul 21, 2009

    WAIT... why are we funding a college that is good for nothing? And people are up in arms about NC State's bad "rep" what about this school? At least NCSU didn't graduate a bunch of failures that will be taking care of YOUR parents in a nursing home. And we wonder why there is so much nursing home abuse... if you graduate uneducated folks and pass them off as educated... my oh my are we in trouble.

  • gandalla Jul 20, 2009

    Maybe while they are looking at their instructors FSU should take a long hard look at some of their students. As I understand it, one of the BIGGEST reasons why their Nursing Program failed was they chased away any descent instructors in order to cowtow to their whiney..."I shouldn't have to do that and especially on time"...undisciplined student body.

    Yea blame the student. What about the instructor if they cant teach the student isnt going to learn. Its that simple. And to all the teachers out there I ask this:
    How can you tell if your a good teacher or not unless you base your results on the performance of your students?

  • whatelseisnew Jul 20, 2009

    Yes excellent government involved in the health care system. HA hA HA AH HA. The good news is the lefties will kill most of us before all the bills come due.

  • affirmativediversity Jul 20, 2009

    Maybe while they are looking at their instructors FSU should take a long hard look at some of their students. As I understand it, one of the BIGGEST reasons why their Nursing Program failed was they chased away any descent instructors in order to cowtow to their whiney..."I shouldn't have to do that and especially on time"...undisciplined student body.

    Any one who has ever attended a class at FSU knows there is a certain segment of the student body that No Instructor Dare Challenge!

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