NEW BRUNSWICK – Senator Joseph F. Vitale today said the state-of-the-art facility being built as the new College of Nursing at Rutgers University will be a hallmark for long-term quality health care in New Jersey.
“Nurses who train here will provide high-quality health care to our patients in New Jersey,” Senator Vitale said after attending groundbreaking ceremonies for the new multi-million dollar facility to be built on the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Campus.
When completed, the new facilitiy will serve an estimated 300 undergraduate nursing students, according to Rutgers officials.
“As proud as I was to sponsor the legislation to provide the $2.3 million for startup funds for the nursing facility, I will be among the first to tell you that money alone will not ensure quality health care for New Jersey patients,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “It’s the dedication and professionalism of the New Jersey nursing community that really makes me proud.”
As Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, Senator Vitale vowed to continue his longstanding efforts to improve working conditions, salaries and educational opportunities for New Jersey’s nursing professionals and nurses in training.
“For too long, our young professionals trained elsewhere and took jobs out of state because that was where the professional opportunities awaited them,” Senator Vitale said. “I am committed to ensuring our future nurses that they are wanted here, needed here and that they will be paid top scale wages for staying here in New Jersey.”
For several years now, New Jersey has been battling a nursing shortage because of a lack of capacity within New Jersey schools of nursing, Senator Vitale noted.
“We have a significant number of highly qualified young people who would like to become nurses, but who were being blocked by a lack of available (training) slots,” Senator Vitale said.
“With this new facility underway, we are now well down the path toward achieving the goals of expanding our base number of nurses in training and of providing more nurses to enable our senior population to continue living longer, healthier lives,” Senator Vitale said.
The new nursing facility is part of the Rutgers University Health Sciences Center. It will feature a top-quality nursing practice lab, a patient simulation lab, clinic rooms, a large lecture hall, several smaller classrooms and seminar rooms, faculty and administrative offices, and study and lounge areas for the students and faculty, Rutgers officials said.
The Democratic Senator, who represents the nearby 19th Legislative District and lives in Woodbridge, also praised the efforts in providing matching funds by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.